Trusts facing increased pressure on beds ahead of winter

08 November 2018

Responding to the latest combined performance data from NHS England, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said:

“These figures show that as we head into the most difficult time of the year, trusts are already overstretched.

“Staff have worked incredibly hard to maintain A&E performance against the four hour target despite an increase in the number of people coming in for help.

Staff have worked incredibly hard to maintain A&E performance against the four hour target despite an increase in the number of people coming in for help.

   

“Trusts are seeing more patients who require complex care. This is contributing to record levels of emergency admissions, increasing the pressure on beds.

“And although more people in A&E are being admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours, the number of patients facing severe delays after a decision to admit them has risen sharply.

“In our recent report Steeling ourselves for winter 2018/19, trusts told us that despite some extra funding for capital projects and social care, they fear this winter will be more difficult than the last.

“These pressures are compounded by growing staff shortages which put additional strain on a workforce which hasn’t caught breath following an exceptionally busy summer.

These pressures are compounded by growing staff shortages which put additional strain on a workforce which hasn’t caught breath following an exceptionally busy summer.

   

“Performance against the 18 week referral time is at its worst level in nearly a decade. The NHS has also missed its two-week cancer target for the sixth month running, although it is welcome that more people are seeking help.

“These delays reflect a system under severe pressure.

“Looking ahead, we need to be realistic about the time and resource it will take to recover the gaps in performance which have built up and to build the capacity across health and care to meet this level of demand all year round.”

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