Q2 figures reflect difficult environment for trusts

16 November 2017

 

NHS Improvement has published performance data for the second quarter of 2017/18, showing that admissions to hospital continue to rise as the demand for emergency and planned care continues to increase.

It shows that 90.2% of emergency patients were seen within four hours.

There were around 168,000 delayed discharges, accounting for five per cent of NHS beds, meaning the service fell short of its 3.5% target this September.

Financially, at this point trusts are collectively predicting a full-year deficit of around £623 million - £127 million higher than planned.

 

Responding to the Q2 figures published by NHS Improvement, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said:

“These figures underline the extremely difficult conditions trusts face in providing safe, timely, high quality care for patients. It is to their enormous credit that in the midst of a prolonged and severe financial squeeze and workforce shortages they have responded to growing demand by treating more patients than ever. 

Making progress in order to meet the 95 per cent national standard by the end of next year will be extremely difficult, particularly given the continuing difficulties with high bed occupancy rates and delayed transfers of care (DTOCs) for patients who are ready to move on.

“It is particularly encouraging to see the improvement in A & E response times. However making progress in order to meet the 95 per cent national standard by the end of next year will be extremely difficult, particularly given the continuing difficulties with high bed occupancy rates and delayed transfers of care (DTOCs) for patients who are ready to move on. The additional £1 billion allocated for social care in the spring budget has not had the effect on DTOCs that we had hoped to see.

“It is concerning to see the year-end deficit forecast has risen to £623 million – which is £127 million worse than planned. Despite great efforts, trusts are slipping behind on the savings required of them. However they are still on track to reduce the provider sector deficit compared to last year.  Given the overall NHS financial settlement this year, that would be a great achievement. It is worth noting too that trusts have continued to reduce spending on agency staff.

“There is a long way to go. Last year we saw a significant jump in the deficit figures in Q3. As we head into winter – with the particular challenges and potential for disruption that presents - we will be watching closely to see what happens this time.”

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