Earlier this week there was a sense of panic in the air as a number of hospitals declared ‘major incidents’ and missed their waiting time targets. It’s a response somewhat out of proportion to the scale of the problem – while performance is among the worst it has been in the last decade, it’s still high by international and longer-term historical standards.
What has actually been happening?
A number of explanations of what has been going on have been offered this last week, but they don’t all add up. So let’s start with some facts.
A growth in raw numbers