New targets mustn’t distract from the fact that NHS performance this year has seen a sharp decline

Professor John Appleby responds to latest NHS performance figures.

Press release

Published: 12/09/2019

Responding to the latest NHS performance figures, Professor John Appleby, Chief Economist at the Nuffield Trust said:

“These figures confirm that this year has seen an alarming slump in NHS performance against important targets. This summer was no exception, showing little sign of reprieve for staff and patients, with 6% more people turning up at A&E in August compared to last year. Over the last 6 months there has been on average over 60,000 more people waiting more than 4 hours in A&E per month compared to last year.   

“In July, over 4.5 million people were on the waiting list for elective treatment, and 1 in 7 of them had been waiting longer than 18 weeks. This is the largest the waiting list has ever been, and the worst performance since January 2009.

“People mustn’t get distracted by incoming new targets from the fact that NHS performance this year has seen a sharp decline. Changing measurements won’t make a difference if things keep on worsening at this rate.”

Notes to editors

You can find the latest Combined Performance Figures here.