Worst ever A&E performance paints bleak picture for busy winter months

14 November 2019

Responding to the latest combined performance data from NHS England and NHS Improvement, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

“These performance figures paint a bleak picture for the health service as it approaches the busy winter months in a worse position than we have before.

“Performance against the four hour standard in October is at its lowest since records began – but staff are seeing more patients than this time last year. There are now more people waiting longer than 18 weeks for routine operations than we have seen in over a decade. And worryingly, we are continuing to miss key cancer stats routinely.

These performance figures paint a bleak picture for the health service as it approaches the busy winter months in a worse position than we have before.

Saffron Cordery    Deputy Chief Executive

“This decline comes on the back of an incredibly busy summer and record-breaking demand. NHS staff have been working flat out all year round, but no matter how hard they work, the health and care system is not able to keep pace with the demands placed on it. This is pushing the dedication of NHS staff and exasperating already severe workforce challenges.

If we are going to turn this around we need the resources to meet this demand – that’s investment in facilities and equipment in hospitals and in the community, that’s investment in our existing staff, solving the pensions crisis forcing senior staff into retirement and protecting the ability for the service to recruit the staff it needs.

Saffron Cordery    Deputy Chief Executive

“If we are going to turn this around we need the resources to meet this demand – that’s investment in facilities and equipment in hospitals and in the community, that’s investment in our existing staff, solving the pensions crisis forcing senior staff into retirement and protecting the ability for the service to recruit the staff it needs. But we need to be realistic about the time this will take.

“Trusts have put winter planning into practice. There is a great deal that has been learned from previous years, but there is absolutely no doubt this winter will be an exceptionally testing time for trusts.”

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