Commenting on the Public Accounts Committee report into waiting times in the English NHS, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:
“It’s no secret that the NHS has been missing most key waiting times targets for years. This report warns the impact on patients isn’t being taken seriously enough. The strong focus on A&E waiting times has been in danger of obscuring the fact that some patients waiting for planned care are suffering greatly from serious conditions and need help.
“I’m afraid I’m not convinced that just issuing new ultimatums to NHS England will resolve these problems. It’s all well and good for different parts of Government to demand things of each other, but without enough staff and beds the NHS won’t be meeting the old or new targets any time soon.
“The new targets suggest some promising ideas but we need to be honest that there will be some winners and losers when it comes to who has to wait the longest. The NHS will need to have a careful look at who these people are as the targets get tested out and be flexible if they’re not serving patients well.”