NHS staff performing heroically in face of rising demand

12 January 2017

NHS England has published the combined performance statistics for November 2016.

Although the data predates figures that have been seen for the lead up to the Christmas period, it continues to show greater demand on services.

A&E attendances increased by 4.5% from the previous year with emergency admissions also rising by 3.5%. There were 1,906,784 attendances at A&E representing 1.7% more than November 2015. Once again A&E waiting time standards were not met.

There were 193,680 delayed days in November 2016, which is an increase of 40,525 from November 2015.

Responding to the combined performance figures, director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:

“These figures pre-date the extraordinary pressures we’ve seen since the run-up to Christmas. But they show as we headed into winter, the NHS was already working flat out to deal with a relentless rise in demand. Once again the numbers of people attending A&E and requiring an emergency admission were up, and delayed transfers of care for patients who were ready to leave hospital were at historically high levels.

Even in the autumn it was clear the pressure was unsustainable. There is a fundamental gap between what the NHS is being asked to deliver and its funding levels.

 

“Despite increased activity almost all the major performance targets were missed. Even in the autumn it was clear the pressure was unsustainable. There is a fundamental gap between what the NHS is being asked to deliver and its funding levels. We need to acknowledge this and debate what to do about it.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to NHS staff who are performing heroically, often under extremely difficult circumstances. They are dealing with record numbers of patients and service users requiring treatment.”  

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