Record low A&E attendances show major changes to how public uses NHS

Layla McCay

Responding to the latest monthly performance figures from NHS England, Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, said:

“These figures suggest that the government’s advice has already had a pronounced impact on how the public engages with the health service, but there is concern among leaders that the public are now not seeking help when they need it.

“The NHS is still open for business, and services that were put on pause because of COVID-19 are also being resumed slowly, but leaders and their staff will need time and support to manage that, so that they can continue to do what’s best for the communities they serve.

“It will of course take a long time to address the waiting lists challenge, including for key issues like cancer treatment, as a record number of patients were waiting over two months after an urgent GP referral. This must be done sustainably, so that the staff who have been working almost unceasingly throughout this crisis can recover and cope, while prioritising those most in need. It’s also clear that we cannot to go back to how things were – this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reset the NHS, and we must seize it.”

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