Nuffield Trust: A move in the wrong direction for Covid-19 threatens NHS recovery plans

Sarah Scobie responds to the latest monthly NHS performance statistics and weekly sit rep data.

Press release

Published: 10/03/2022

Responding to the latest NHS England and NHS Improvement monthly performance stats and weekly sit rep data, Nuffield Trust Deputy Director of Research Sarah Scobie said:

“In a week where the Government has set out its stall on NHS recovery from Covid-19, these figures make sobering reading. The numbers of people waiting more than two years for routine NHS treatment in January was more than eight times what it was in April last year and a third of people with cancer waited more than two months for their first treatment. In urgent care, ambulance handover delays remain stubbornly high and over 16,000 people waited more than 12 hours on a trolley in A&E last month.   

“Behind all of these figures are thousands of individual stories of pain and suffering, set against a backdrop of burnt out and overworked healthcare staff. The question for Government is how far the reforms proposed on Tuesday by Sajid Javid this week will really touch the sides in the face of such long and growing waiting times.   

“What’s more, today’s figures come as we are seeing a concerning uptick in hospital admissions for Covid-19, suggesting things are going in the wrong direction after many weeks of hospitalisations falling. We are clearly not out of the woods when it comes to Covid-19. A renewed wave of the virus just as health and social care services are struggling to get back on their feet could be perilous for any hopes of recovery.” 


Notes to editors

About Nuffield Trust

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.

For all queries or to arrange an interview, contact Simon Keen: 07780 475571/; or Eleanor Martin: 07920 043676 /