Winter performance figures show NHS on its knees, says NHS Confederation

Responding to the first winter sitrep and latest monthly performance figures from NHS England, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:

“These figures show an NHS on its knees and it is no wonder that most leaders predict that this winter will be the worst on record. More and more patients are turning up at emergency departments and there is a limit as to how many they can cope with.        

“Frontline staff are working themselves into the ground but with the current level of vacancies, and ever rising demand, there is only so much they can do.

“We need our newly elected government to get to work now with new services in the community that will relieve the pressure on hospitals, as well as action on staffing, social care, and capital investment.”

Notes for editors

Key figures:

Monthly performance stats

  • There were more attendances in November 2019 than November 2018 and the highest daily rate of emergency admissions on record

A&E attendances

  • There were 2,143,336 attendances at A&E departments in November 2019 or 71,445 per day, an increase of 105,489, or 3,516 per day from November 2018 – a 5.2 per cent rise.
  • There were 559,556 emergency admissions in November 2019, an average of 18,652 per day. This is the highest daily rate on record

Winter sitrep

  • Demand has increased across the board, with more attendances, longer waits and higher bed occupancy than in the same period last year.
  • Evidence of system under enormous strain, struggling to meet demand

Long stay bed occupancy

2 – 8 December 2019

>7 days – 296,477
>14 days – 171,083
>21 days – 107,686

3 – 9 December 2018

>7 days – 284,609
>14 days – 161,566
>21 days – 104,473

  • Bed occupancy was higher for 2-8 December 2019 in >7, >14 and >21 days.
  • For >7 days it was higher by 11,686
  • For >14 days it was higher by 9,517
  • For >21 days it was higher by 3,213

Bed closures

  • There were 8,380 beds closed due to D&V/norovirus like symptoms in 2nd – 8th December 2019
    There were 4,402 beds closed due to D&V/norovirus like symptoms in 3rd – 9th December 2018
    This is an increase of 3978 in 2019 on 2018

Ambulance arrivals and delays

2 – 8 December 2019

  • Total A&E attendances – 100,129
  • 30-60 minute delays – 11,420
  • >60 minutes delays – 3,179

3 – 9 December 2018

  • Total A&E attendances – 97,477
  • 30-60 minute delays – 8,736
  • >60 minutes delays – 1,939
  • Attendances were higher by 2,652 in 2019 compared to the same period in 2018
  • There were 2,684 more delays of 30-60 minutes in 2019 than 2018
  • There were 1,240 more delays of 60 minutes or more in 2019 than 2018
  • Overall – ambulance delays were higher this year than the same period last year

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