Responding to the latest combined monthly performance stats from NHS England and NHS Improvement, the Chief Executive of the Nuffield Trust, Nigel Edwards said:
“These figures dramatically illustrate the lasting impact that the nationwide lockdown and the extraordinary measures taken by the health service to treat people with Covid-19 will have on patient care.
"The understandable and extreme steps taken to keep the NHS afloat during the pandemic have meant hundreds of thousands not getting the care they need. There have been astonishing falls in the number of GP appointments, people referred for routine care was down 70% compared to last April, the number of diagnostic tests being carried out has plummeted, along with falls in A&E attendances. This means as services begin to come back the NHS will face a mountainous climb to get anywhere near on top of this pent up demand.
“Operating alongside Covid-19 measures will mean no return to business as usual. The health service will simply not be able to catch up by working in the way it used to. Increased infection control measures, social distancing and practical constraints to protect staff and patients will mean we will see the waiting list grow rapidly over the autumn as the service struggles to get patients through the health system as quickly. Rationing at a level previously considered unpalatable is here to stay in the NHS.”
Notes to editors
Notes to editors:
- The latest monthly combined performance figures from NHS England can be found at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/
- 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 more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Simon Keen on 07805 217935 or email@example.com