Q2 figures show trusts are responding to growing pressures, but can not keep up
29 November 2018
- NHS Improvement (NHSI) has published its latest report on the Performance of the NHS provider sector covering June to September 2018.
- NHSI report that the provider sector’s deficit is forecast to be £558 million by the end of March.
- The figures show that hospitals admitted nearly 1,000 more emergency patients a day and treated nearly 2,000 more a day within the four-hour target compared with the same time last year.
- Vacancies for doctors and nurses still stand at over 100,000.
- NHSI argues that the long-term plan for the NHS will signal a reset on performance over the next five years.
Responding to the publication of the Q2 financial and performance figures for the NHS provider sector, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson said:
“These figures reflect a very difficult summer for trusts and their staff as they have worked flat out to grapple with an unholy combination of rapidly rising demand, an ongoing financial squeeze and a once in a generation workforce shortage problem.
Trusts have delivered a heroic performance, treating more patients than ever before within the A&E target, improving discharge rates and continuing to deliver stretching levels of financial savings.
“Once again, trusts have delivered a heroic performance, treating more patients than ever before within the A&E target, improving discharge rates and continuing to deliver stretching levels of financial savings.
“But the reality is that, however hard trusts work, they cannot currently keep up with the growth in demand for care. Yet again, the most recent NHS England performance data recorded the highest level of emergency admissions of patients in A&E since records began and this is putting severe pressure on beds and services across health and care even before the busy winter period. Mental health, community and ambulance trusts report similar levels of unrelenting demand increases and resulting pressure on service delivery. These pressures are contributing to increasing delays for patients and service users, while creating an intolerable working environment for many staff. All trusts are warning that, despite improvements, this coming winter is likely to be more challenging than the last.
We have to stop setting trusts overambitious performance and financial targets that they cannot meet, despite best efforts.tweet this
“We have to be honest about the demand and workforce pressures in front of us and what it will take to meet these challenges. And we have to stop setting trusts overambitious performance and financial targets that they cannot meet, despite best efforts. However much we want to focus on new commitments and NHS transformation, we have to get back to delivering the right quality of care within the allocated funding. That means devoting the right amount of recent NHS funding increases to recovering constitutional performance standards and eliminating ongoing provider financial deficits.
“NHS Improvement rightly argues that the new NHS long term plan must reset NHS performance. This means trusts must be given realistic financial and operational performance targets next year that they can actually deliver. They must be properly funded to break the current cycle of ever worsening performance. And we still need more urgent action to address workforce shortages.”