“This analysis makes plain just how difficult this winter has been for the NHS. Hospitals have been operating at alarmingly high occupancy levels, opening an average of 5-and-a-half extra hospitals’ worth of beds every day this winter, and some Trusts seeing 99 in every 100 beds full .
“At the same time ambulances have been queuing outside hospitals for worryingly long periods of time, with over one in eight ambulances delayed by more than half an hour in handing patients over to hospital. 
“Behind these striking figures are thousands of individual stories of patients in pain and distress, and NHS staff members working in stressful and pressured conditions. We know that the NHS has been pulling out all the stops to keep the health service on the straight and narrow this winter. But with staff shortages widespread and funding tight, it has been doing this with the odds stacked against it.”
Notes to editors
- Based on an average number of 683 core beds in a Trust in England, the figure for this winter. However, some Trusts comprise more than one hospital, so the figure for the number of extra beds as expressed as numbers of whole hospitals may be an under-estimate.
- 13% of all ambulance arrivals at hospital between 20th November and 4th March were delayed by more than 30 minutes.