Nigel Edwards responds to weekly winter and monthly performance statistics

New figures clearly reveal why the NHS is under such extraordinary pressure this winter.

Press release

Published: 11/01/2018

Nuffield Trust’s Chief Executive Nigel Edwards responds to NHS England’s weekly winter operational statistics and monthly combined performance summary:

“Today’s figures clearly reveal why the NHS is under such extraordinary pressure this winter. Just a week into the New Year and with two months of winter to go, bed occupancy levels are running at 95% and last Tuesday more ambulances were delayed for over an hour than at any point since the start of winter. 

“This is despite the effects of cancelling non-urgent operations and the small respite provided by lower bed occupancy over Christmas. 

“Meanwhile, monthly figures show that A&E performance levels in December slumped to their lowest since records began and just three NHS trusts in England met the four-hour A&E target. This kind of pressure has an effect across the whole system: in December almost 70,000 patients waited on a trolley to be admitted to hospital for four hours or more. 

“The time for discussing and diagnosing the problem is over: there is widespread recognition that the NHS needs more staff and money now. The real question is how to overcome political gridlock to put health and social care on a sustainable footing.”

Notes to editors

  1. NHS England’s Weekly winter situation reports give weekly updates on NHS bed occupancy, ambulance delays and other indications of pressure. They can be read on NHS England’s website here.
  2. NHS England’s Combined Performance Summary give monthly updates on delayed transfers of care, waiting times for elective procedures and waiting times in A&E. You can find them here.
  3. For further details on today's combined performance statistics see the QualityWatch summary.