New Government faces a grim NHS winter - Nuffield Trust comment on NHS performance figures

Nigel Edwards responds to NHS England’s Combined Performance Summary and Winter Situation Reports.

Press release

Published: 13/12/2019

Responding to NHS England’s Combined Performance Summary and Winter Situation Reports, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:

“Returning to Downing Street, Boris Johnson has been met by an immediate reminder of the grim winter his Government faces in the English NHS.

“The November figures show the number of patients waiting on trolleys is at its highest level ever, a very worrying sign with the coldest months still to come. For the first time, not one single major A&E department in England met the current four hour waiting time target. Figures for the first week of December suggest what may be driving this, showing bed occupancy at 95%, a level which will make it near impossible to admit many patients in need onto the right ward.

“To tackle this, the new Government really will need to deliver the 50,000 nurses promised – even if this means more reliance on migrants than they’ve said. We need a long-term commitment to funding for NHS infrastructure, not one-off announcements. And we need to finally see the overhaul of England’s failing social care system that has been pledged so many times.”

Notes to editors

  1. NHS England’s combined performance summary contains monthly data for October and November and can be seen here. “Major” emergency departments are indicated in the data as “Type 1”.
  2. The Winter Situation Reports (Winter Daily SitRep) have also been published for the first time this year, showing daily data for the week from December 2nd to December 8th.
  3. 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.
  4. For further comments or to arrange an interview, please contact Mark Dayan at 0207 462 0538 or Fiona Johnson (out of hours) at 07825510527.