Nuffield Trust response to today's NHS performance figures

Today’s statistics reveal alarming and dramatic increases in A&E waiting times – with waits for planned treatment also getting longer.

Press release

Published: 10/10/2019

Responding to today’s NHS performance figures, the Nuffield Trust’s Deputy Director of Research, Sarah Scobie, says:

“Today’s NHS performance statistics reveal very starkly the pressure facing the NHS and the impact this has on more and more patients. Compared with September last year, within A&E departments the number of patients waiting more than four hours has risen dramatically, by over a third. There has also been an alarming three-fold increase in the numbers of patients who are so sick they need to be admitted but wait more than 12 hours for that to happen. These are vulnerable people, waiting in distress and anxiety, often on trolleys, and despite the very best efforts of NHS staff, this cannot be acceptable. 

“The reasons can be found in the sheer numbers of patients coming to A&E and the proportion needing admission, which is steadily increasing year on yearWaiting times for planned treatment are also getting longer, with 15 per cent waiting more than the 18-week target – the worst performance since June 2008. Without a sufficient and urgent plan for solving the workforce crisis, these targets will continue to go in a worse direction and patients will suffer as a result.”

Notes to editors

You can read the latest Combined Performance Summary on the NHS England website

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.

To speak to one of our experts please call Kirsty Ridyard on 020 7462 0555 or Meilir Jones on 020 7462 0552 /

We have an in-house ISDN line for radio interviews.