Responding to today’s NHS Combined Performance Summary, Nuffield Trust Chief Economist Professor John Appleby said:
“Today’s monthly and weekly figures show that the health service is coping well so far with winter pressures despite increasing demand, thanks to the sustained efforts of staff and realistic planning. A higher proportion of A&E visits are being completed within four hours than this time last year and the year before.
“But we must remember that nearly all key targets have been missed for years now – only five major A&E departments in the whole of England actually met the four hour target in December. With the new Long Term Plan, those in charge of the NHS must now answer the big question of whether it is going to start actually meeting its commitments, or scrap and replace them.”