Toughest month to date for NHS as cancer and A&E standards fall
14 March 2019
- NHS England published the latest monthly performance data.
- Demand for urgent and emergency care has fallen since last month, but is still significantly higher than the same point last year.
- Attendances are 7.3% higher and emergency admissions are 6.1% higher than in February 2018.
- A&E performance against the four-hour target is at an all time low of 84.2%.
- Demand has significantly increased and in reality the NHS saw an additional 97,533 patients within four hours compared to February 2018.
- It is the first time that cancer performance has missed the 14-day, 31-day and 62-day targets in the same month.
- RTT has seen a slight improvement on last month but is still low.
NHS Providers’ director of policy and strategy Miriam Deakin said:
“The figures released today show that February has been a particularly tough month for the NHS with performance against A&E and cancer standards falling to an all time low. Hospitals saw 84.2% of patients within the four hour target.
“It is the first time since all three of the key cancer standards have been missed – two week referral; 31 day treatment from decision to treat and 62 day from referral to treatment. Overall, the NHS is now missing seven out of the nine cancer key standards.
Trusts are clearly continuing to struggle to meet rising demand. A&E is continuing to see unprecedented pressure with a 7% increase in attendances and 6% increase in emergency admissions.Director of Policy and Strategy
“Trusts are clearly continuing to struggle to meet rising demand. A&E is continuing to see unprecedented pressure with a 7% increase in attendances and 6% increase in emergency admissions. Trusts are in the impossible position of having to prioritise those who are most sick and are seeking to manage the knock on effect this has on cancer and elective care.
Staff across the NHS are working extremely hard to ensure that more patients receive the care and treatment they need in a timely manner.Director of Policy and Strategy
“These are significant year on year increases in demand. Staff across the NHS are working extremely hard to ensure that more patients receive the care and treatment they need in a timely manner. The NHS has seen almost 250,000 additional patients within four hours this winter compared to last year. Trusts have also worked hard to reduce length of stay and ambulance handover delays.
“The resilience and dedication shown by staff to patient care throughout a very sustained period of pressure and demand is extraordinary, but there is only so much that trusts can do when resources are already stretched to breaking point.”