Following the release of today’s Combined Performance Summary from NHS England, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:
Our research recently showed the traditional summer respite for the NHS is starting to disappear, so we should expect to see pressure continuing all the year round.
Nigel Edwards, Chief Executive of the Nuffield Trust
“The increase in the proportion of A&E patients being admitted or discharged within four hours reflects hard work by NHS staff, and looks like a welcome sign of recovery as we leave winter. However, our research recently showed the traditional summer respite for the NHS is starting to disappear, so we should expect to see pressure continuing all the year round.
“Today’s figures show the highest number of patients on record staying in hospital when they shouldn’t have to because there are no proper arrangements for them to leave. Only two days ago, the head of the NHS Simon Stevens warned that this problem would continue for another five years – research we published in the winter showed that even though long-staying patients last year made up only 3.6% of the total, they accounted for over a third of total bed capacity, so addressing this issue must be a priority for the Health Service”.
Notes to editors
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- Winter Pressures: what’s going on behind the scenes?, published earlier this year by the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation, tracks performance across 29 indicators to examine seasonal problems in hospital services. It finds that pressure normally seen during the winter months is now increasingly visible at other times of the year.
- The Nuffield Trust is carrying out on how issues with the flow of patients drive A&E pressures. An extract published last year showed that just 3.6% of patients take up over a third of all bed capacity.
- Simon Stevens recently warned the Health Service Journal that problems with delayed discharges from hospital would continue for several years.