Unsustainable management of winter pressures sees NHS staff going above and beyond
20 January 2017
- NHS England publishes weekly winter performance data for 9 – 15 January
- Data shows A&E diverts increased to 52 compared with 39 last week as demand grows
- We say staff are going above and beyond but we cannot carry on trying to manage winter pressures in this way
NHS England has published its winter performance data for the week up to 15 January 2017.
The data is collected from hospitals each day of the week during winter and it highlights pressure on the service through A&E closures, diverts and bed pressures.
The data released has shown that during the week:
- A&E diverts were at 52, up from 39 in the previous week’s figures and up from 27 the year before
- Bed occupancy rates were up to nearly 96%, a further increase from last week’s figures
- Trusts declaring OPEL warnings increased, but a tougher definition of alert means it is difficult to measure these against previous weeks
Responding to the latest NHS England data on key winter statistics for week ending 15th January 2017, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said:
“These latest figures show the NHS working flat out last week to provide safe and timely care for patients in the midst of unprecedented demand. This is reflected by the increase in the number of trusts with A & E diverts which almost doubled compared with the same week last year. Bed occupancy rates have also risen, and remained well above recommended levels to ensure patient safety. The number of trusts reporting serious operational pressures was a further cause for concern. Anecdotally, however, trusts have told us that the extreme pressure of the first 16 days of January, reflected in these figures, has now eased over the four days and we expect this to be reflected in next week’s figures. We should recognise, however, that a flu outbreak or a cold snap still have the potential to immediately reverse this improving position.
we cannot carry on trying to manage well known winter pressures in this way – it is unsustainable
“Two things are clear. First, we owe a huge debt of thanks to NHS frontline staff who have responded way beyond the call of duty to ensure the NHS as a whole has just about kept its head above water in the face of unprecedented demand. Second, we cannot carry on trying to manage well known winter pressures in this way – it is unsustainable”.