Responding to today’s NHS performance statistics from NHS England, Nuffield Trust Chief Economist Professor John Appleby said:
“These figures show the next Government will immediately be faced with one of the bleakest winters in the NHS’s history. We have many months to go until seasonal pressures really hit the NHS, but October has already seen an unprecedented slump with performance against the main A&E target worse than ever. The health service is seeing far more patients, yet one in six is now waiting more than four hours in A&E. If the usual trends continue after Christmas, that would head towards one in five.
“Meanwhile the number of people waiting on trolleys in corridors because no beds are available has already hit 80,000 – something we have only seen before in the very coldest part of the year. If this trend keeps going, I fear we could see 100,000 people stuck on trolleys this coming January.
“These are not acceptable waits, both for people who need urgent help and for the staff who desperately want to treat them. As the election promises roll in, we should be under no illusion about the money, staff and time it will take to turn this situation around.”
Notes to editors
- NHS England’s latest Combined Performance Summary can be seen on their website here.
- Our QualityWatch programme with the Health Foundation tracks standards of care across a wide range of different indicators and can be seen here.
- You can find our information pack of key facts and figures on the NHS and social care here: NHS and social care: Facts and figures for the 2019 general election.
- The Nuffield Trust is an independent health think tank. We aim to improve the quality of health care in the UK by providing evidence-based research and policy analysis and informing and generating debate.
- For queries or to arrange an interview please contact the Nuffield Trust press office on 0207 462 0555 or 0207 462 0538.