Commenting on today’s NHS performance data, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:
“At our Health Policy Summit last week, Simon Stevens said it is likely February will turn out to have been the most pressurised month the NHS has seen in its nearly 70 year history . Today’s figures, sadly, do little to disprove that. The proportion of people spending more than four hours in A&E appears to be the highest for 15 years . The main waiting times targets for cancer and planned treatment are being missed, and there is no sign of recovery.
“The British Social Attitudes survey we recently analysed with the King’s Fund shows that the public are increasingly aware of this pressure, with dissatisfaction with the NHS rising seven percentage points to its highest level since 2007 .
“Fundamentally, these pressures are driven by a lack of money and staff. If these are not addressed, it is inevitable that as difficult as February has been for NHS staff and patients, there will be worse to come.”
Notes to editors
- NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens spoke at our Health Policy Summit on March 2nd, where he thanked staff for their work and warned that February was probably the most pressurised month in NHS history. A report of his comments can be seen here.
- The latest Combined Performance Summary, a compilation of NHS performance statistics released today, can be seen here. It gives figures for A&E up to February, and planned care up to January. At 85%, the proportion of people waiting for more than four hours for a decision in A&E is at its worst since monthly records began in 2010, and looking at the earlier quarterly records, it reflects the worst performance since 2004.
- Last week, with The King’s Fund, we published the latest findings from NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey showing the public’s satisfaction with the NHS and social care. You can read the full report here.
- The Nuffield Trust is an independent health policy 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. www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk
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