Difficult autumn and winter loom for NHS as pressures mount

06 July 2022

Responding to a warning by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine about pressures on the NHS this winter, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin, said:

"Trust leaders are worried about what winter has in store as we see early warning signs of rising COVID-19 infections and more people in hospital with the virus.

"More waves of COVID-19 coupled with a possible surge in flu earlier than usual will pile even more pressure on already overstretched NHS staff and services, hampering their efforts to bring down waiting lists as the NHS makes up ground post-pandemic.

"The NHS is braced for tough months ahead as it works flat out in the face of severe staff shortages to meet rising demand across hospitals, mental health and community services while ambulances remain under huge stress too.

"Hospitals are already struggling to free up beds by discharging people who are well enough to continue their recovery at or closer to home, largely due to a lack of social and home care capacity.

"We look forward to the national strategy for urgent and emergency care that needs to look at all the pressures across the NHS, in hospitals and beyond."