NHS Confederation responds to the latest NHS performance statistics (May 2023)

Rory Deighton responds to the latest NHS performance statistics

11 May 2023

  • The 78-week waiting list for elective care has been cut by 90% since September 2021 but the overall waiting list has risen to over 7.3 million entries in England.
  • Around half of NHS trusts in England have no patients on their elective care waiting lists apart from those who have chosen to wait longer.
  • Ambulance response rates have improved to their fastest in two years
  • The 62-day cancer backlog has fallen for the first time since before the pandemic
  • Leaders call on the urgent publication of the NHS Workforce Plan to provide a long-term solution to the access challenges facing the NHS

Responding to the latest monthly performance statistics from the NHS, Rory Deighton, director of the NHS Confederation’s acute network said:

“Thanks to the phenomenal efforts of its staff, the NHS has considerably slashed the 78-week elective care waiting list from nearly 125,000 procedures in September 2021 to around 10,700 last month. Around half of NHS trusts have completely cleared this list apart from for patients who have chosen to wait a little longer, including because they did not take up the NHS’s offer to be treated elsewhere.

“This progress is despite the NHS facing huge challenges including record emergency care pressures, a very difficult winter which saw high hospital bed occupancy rates, and five months of disruptive industrial action where nearly 60,000 procedures had to be postponed to protect patients.

“While the list has not been completely cleared nationally and the overall waiting list has risen, the NHS has done everything it can to recover its services following the pandemic and it will continue to do so.

"To support this, health leaders urgently need to see how the government will support the NHS with its workforce deficit as this continues to be the single most disabling limitation for why their hardworking teams can’t deliver even more for their local communities.”