Patient experience of NHS care suffering from growing waiting times
13 February 2020
- NHS England and NHS Improvement have published combined performance data for January 2020 and December 2019.
- A&E performance in January improved slightly on the previous month to 81.7%.
- 2,846 patients waited longer than 12 hours from the decision to admit to admission – the highest number ever.
- During quarter 3 (October - December 2019), 23,503 operations were cancelled at the last minute for non-clinical reasons by NHS providers. An increase of 17% compared to the same period in 2018/19.
Responding to the latest monthly combined performance data from NHS England and NHS Improvement, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said:
“While there has been some encouraging improvement in January against the four hour standard from the previous month, it is worrying to see more people than ever before waited 12 hours or more for a hospital bed after a decision had been made that they needed to be admitted. This is a stark reminder of how sharply demand for care is rising. While NHS staff will be doing everything they can to look after every patient well, this makes for a difficult situation for patients, families and frontline staff.
It is worrying to see more people than ever before waited 12 hours or more for a hospital bed after a decision had been made that they needed to be admitted.Director of Policy and Strategy
“The NHS waiting list continues to remain high with some patients waiting a year for routine surgery. The most recent cancelled operations data also published today, reflects the vicious circle of cancelled operations prompting growing waiting lists, as trusts are forced to prioritise demand for emergency care. This growing backlog of operations will make the task of catching up after winter even tougher and will not help to break the year-round cycle of ‘winter’ pressures.
“Against a backdrop of staff shortages, rapidly growing demand for care and capital investment constraints, we need to be honest about the challenge the health services faces in stabilising, let alone recovering performance.
“While trusts have extensive plans in place and are well prepared to deal with cases of coronavirus, they must do this within a context of existing and considerable day to day pressure.”