Responding to The King’s Fund’s Quarterly Monitoring Report, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“After a decade of austerity in the NHS we cannot expect to recover performance on waiting times and eradicate deficits overnight. This sobering report shows how far we need to go to get back to the performance levels the NHS was delivering five years ago.
“The good news is that the NHS is treating more patients than ever before and staff have made real progress in reducing waiting times for patients waiting more than a year. These are considerable achievements given the funding and staffing constraints the NHS has been operating with.
“But we know the scale of the challenge ahead is significant. We have the right vision for the future of the NHS but we need investment in key areas that fall outside of the £20 billion funding settlement. Unless the incoming Prime Minister delivers on capital investment, training and education budgets, public health and unless we finally get a long-term settlement for social care, then the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan will be jeopardised.”