Toughest month to date for NHS as cancer and A&E standards fall

14 March 2019

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.

Miriam Deakin    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.

Miriam Deakin    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.”

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