The government must play its part to tackle NHS backlogs
15 April 2021
- NHS England and NHS Improvement has published the latest monthly combined performance data.
- A&E activity is returning to normal levels with there being considerably more attendances and admissions seen than in March and April 2020.
- Elective care waits continue to increase with 4.7 million people now on the waiting list, the highest in 10 years (up by more than 100,000 since January 2021).
- Pressure in mental health services is also still rising.
The chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson was interviewed about the NHS' latest performance figures on the BBC's The World at One:
"It's very striking when I talk to trust chief executives – particularly those who have served for a long time – they say it's beginning to feel like the early 2000s when there were far too many people on waiting lists, for years not months.
"This is true not just for planned operations and cancer care but also mental health and community services.
"The solution then was five successive years of real terms NHS funding increases of over 7% a year. That's double the amount that's currently being proposed for NHS funding this time round.
"We're clear in the NHS that we have a responsibility to get through this by doing all we can – by increasing capacity, growing our workforce, finding innovative ways of treating people, and increasing efficiency – but government needs to play its part as well."