Data reveals November’s performance was worst on record for NHS

pharmafile | December 14, 2018 | News story | Medical Communications NHS, NHS England, UK, funding, investment, wait times 

November saw the worst A&E performance on record, according to data released by NHS England.

The number of patients who were seen within four hours dropped from 88.8% in November last year to 87.6% this year, as 54,000 people had to wait longer for treatment in 2018 than they did in 2017.

Shockingly more than 250 patients had to wait for 12 or more hours on a trolley. Overall the number of patients increased by 0.6% in the last year as pressure on NHS staff continues to rise. Increased wait times seem indicative of the strain under which the NHS is being placed due to a chronic lack of investment.

“This is deeply troubling,” Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said. “Hospitals are now having to operate at unsafe levels – several are at full bed capacity and over a third are operating at 97% or above bed occupancy. A&E departments are struggling too, with even fewer patients able to be seen within four hours.

“On the frontline, staff are under incredible pressure, treating more patients than ever. But they cannot work miracles. The cold, hard reality is that the NHS cannot keep pace with demand. These figures suggest we could be heading for one of the bleakest winters yet.”

“Its message must be focused on new services in the community which will relieve overstretched hospitals. Patients deserve to be treated at the right time and in the right place and that is not currently happening.”

Louis Goss

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