System under pressure

The NHS is facing unsustainable pressures, with record demand for urgent and emergency care, high rates of flu and COVID-19 and rising bed occupancy.
An NHS sign in a car park.

Healthcare leaders in England have warned that pressures on NHS staff are becoming unbearable.

The combined effects of high rates of flu and COVID-19, ongoing issues with delayed hospital discharges, over 130,000 NHS vacancies, lack of capital investment and record waiting lists mean that all parts of the service including primary, community and mental health care  are under huge strain.

This section brings together our analysis on what accounts for these pressures, how they are being experienced across the system, and how organisations, systems and staff are rising to the challenge.


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