NHS Providers responds to latest winter figures as pressures mount

15 December 2022

Responding to the latest winter sit-rep figures from NHS England today, Saffron Cordery, interim chief executive at NHS Providers said:

"The new findings illustrate just how much pressure trusts are under as they work hard to deliver care for patients amid strike action and seasonal pressures with below-freezing temperatures and record-high staff vacancies. As feared, COVID-19 and flu are making a real impact.

"Bed occupancy remains worryingly high as more patients experience very long stays in hospital. Delayed discharges also continue to cause real concern, pointing to a clear and urgent need to increase capacity across the whole health and care system, including in community care and social care services.

"Demand for mental health services has also grown significantly since the pandemic, with community services continuing to support a backlog of patients waiting for care.

"Ambulance handover delays have also increased, with over a third being delayed by 30 minutes or more. Trust leaders are concerned that unfolding strike action and the extremely cold weather will add even more pressure to overstretched services. The chancellor's commitment to publishing a long-term workforce plan in 2023 is welcome, but this must be backed by appropriate funding for implementation."

You can follow our analysis of the latest winter figures from NHS England through our NHS Winter Watch campaign.