April by far the worst on record for the NHS and patients will want to know when the end is in sight

Professor John Appleby responds to the latest A&E performance figures for the NHS in England.

Press release

Published: 09/05/2019

Commenting on the latest Combined Performance figures for the NHS in England, Professor John Appleby, Chief Economist of the Nuffield Trust said:

“Today’s figures show that this April was by far the worst on record for the NHS, just when we would expect performance to start improving. It must feel like a never ending winter for overstretched staff.

“15% of people attending A&E spent more than 4 hours from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge – that is the highest April figure on record. The pressure behind this is reflected in an astonishing 7% increase in major A&E department attendances per day compared to April last year. Nearly 67,000 patients spent over 4 hours waiting on a trolley from a decision to admit to admission in April 2019, almost 40% higher than the same time last year.  

“Trusts couldn’t be starting from a worse position as new proposed A&E targets start to be piloted this month. Patients will want to know when the end is in sight – currently that seems like a long way away.”  

Combined Performance Summary: March - April 2019 09/05/2019Jessica Morris

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