Lords report lays bare emergency health services 'crisis'

19 January 2023

Welcoming a House of Lords report into the 'crisis' in urgent and emergency health services, NHS Providers interim deputy chief executive and director of policy and strategy Miriam Deakin said:

"The committee's diagnosis is spot on. Urgent and emergency care services are stretched to the limit given the knock-on effects of immense strain throughout the health and social care system.

"As demand soars the pressure on overstretched ambulance and emergency care services is relentless. NHS trusts are busier than ever as A&E attendances and delayed discharges reach record highs.

"Our evidence to the committee highlighted many longstanding, pre-pandemic factors driving the current situation: the longest and deepest financial squeeze in NHS history; a growing mismatch between demand and capacity; severe staff shortages and the need for better workforce planning; and an underfunded social care system in need of reform.

"Trust leaders are doing all they can to improve services and ensure people get the care they need in the right setting.

"But we need more capacity in social care, primary care and community settings, and a national urgent and emergency care strategy that looks at all the pressures on the health and care system beyond hospitals, as well as focussing more on prevention and reducing health inequalities.

"It's vital for the future of ambulance and emergency services that these issues are addressed in order to ensure patients receive the care they deserve."

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