Responding to the latest monthly NHS performance figures, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
"These figures show a service under intolerable pressure – in just about every area, the demand for NHS care and treatment is rising.
"It looks as if we are heading for a very tough winter in England. In spite of extra funding, NHS front-line staff are under incredible strain, with emergency departments having to cope with more patients than ever – with some seeing increases of up to 12 per cent on last year. We have 100,000 vacancies, overwhelmed GP practices and community services, and a broken social care system.
"There is a glimmer of light – more funding and cross party support for the NHS Long Term Plan – but the next Government must act quickly to address the immediate shortfalls in areas such as social care and capital investment, and also accept that transforming this system will take time."