Nuffield Trust: new figures show just how bad a winter the NHS is having

The number of patients waiting on trolleys has reached its highest rate since records began.

Press release

Published: 08/02/2018

Commenting on today’s NHS performance data, Nuffield Trust Chief Economist John Appleby said:

“Today’s figures provide hard evidence on just how bad a winter the NHS is having: over 80,000 patients waited on trolleys for more than four hours at A&E in January, of whom over 1,000 were waiting for over 12 hours. These are the highest numbers since records began.

“A year ago we warned that corridors had become the new emergency wards. It is deeply concerning that 12 months on the position has worsened, with many harrowing reports of patients being treated in busy corridors by stressed and overworked staff.

“Meanwhile waits for planned care are at their longest for nine years. Every part of the NHS is creaking at the seams. It is time to face facts and offer sustainable funding increases to the health service.”

Notes to editors

  • 81,003 patients waited over four hours from the decision to admit to admission in January, of whom 1,043 waited longer than 12 hours. The equivalent figures for last January (previously the highest on record) were 79,551 and 989 respectively.
  • 12% of patients had been waiting more than 18 weeks for planned treatment in December 2017, the highest proportion since 2009.
  • The NHS Combined Performance Summary published today covers a range of NHS performance indicators, from performance against the four-hour A&E target to waiting times for planned treatment. View the data on the NHS England website
  • New charts analysing today’s figures will be soon available on the QualityWatch website here

For further information please contact Leonora Merry or Mark Dayan at the Nuffield Trust press office on 020 7462 0555.