NHS IT, Records and Data

11.04.19

Targets missed again as NHS spring performance figures shows hospitals ‘creaking at the seams’ despite record number of patients seen on-time

Hospitals are still “creaking at the seams” under record-high demand as the latest official data shows the NHS’s performance against the four-hour A&E target is at its lowest level since records began.

Spring has seen little respite for the NHS, with one in seven patients in March not being seen with the four-hour A&E waiting time target in the wake of two consecutive months of record-low performance figures.

But NHS England has praised its “tireless” workforce for providing care to a record number of people during this winter, with 380,000 more patients treated with four hours in A&E compared to last winter.

Ian Dalton, chief executive of NHS Improvement, said reforms to emergency care had seen the NHS deliver a year-on-year improvement against the A&E target for the first time in five years despite treating record numbers.

Performance is better in Wales and Scotland than England, but both are still missing cancer care targets, with Nick Scriven of the Society of Acute Medicine saying it could still get worse despite winter ending.

He said: “My major imminent concern is that hospitals are working flat out at the moment and we have a looming spell of bank holidays, when many support services will not be functioning, heaping up the already relentless pressure.”

The director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin, said it was clear that the rise in demand shows no signs of slowing, and the performance against the four-hour target remains well below 95%.

“These figures reflect the real story of winter. We must be realistic about the pressure trusts and their staff are under. There is a great distance to go to recover performance to the levels the public expect.”  

The NHS unveiled plans last month to overhaul its current target system and flagship A&E target, with new “rapid care measures” practising the most extreme cases.

Last week the NHS announced the 14 hospitals chosen to pilot the new system, although it has come under some criticism from NHS chiefs for trying to abandon targets simply because they can no longer meet them.

Tim Gardner, senior policy fellow at the Health Foundation, said the data shows the NHS is “creaking at the seams” as demand continues to outstrip provision with the situation “becoming untenable.”

Image credit - Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

HEE announces £2m investment to increase learning disability workforce

19/07/2019HEE announces £2m investment to increase learning disability workforce

Health Education England (HEE) has confirmed that it will invest £2m in 2019/20 to boost the learning disability workforce, with an extra 2... more >
Use of partial knee replacements could save NHS £30m a year

19/07/2019Use of partial knee replacements could save NHS £30m a year

Partial knee replacements (PKR) are as good as total knee replacements (TKR), whilst being more cost effective, according to new research funded ... more >
HSIB report focuses on technology to reduce radiology risks

19/07/2019HSIB report focuses on technology to reduce radiology risks

A report published today by HSIB has showcased where technology could play a pivotal role in reducing harm caused by failures in commun... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated th... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Urology nurses are leading the way in adoption of prostate cancer biopsy technique

11/07/2019Urology nurses are leading the way in adoption of prostate cancer biopsy technique

Jonah Rusere, Advanced Nurse Practitioner for South East London Accountable Cancer Network, outlines an opportunity for urology nurses to make a difference to prostate cancer pathways. What is TRexit and why is it great news for prostate cancer patients all over the country? Let me explain. TRexit is the name given to a national... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professionals as new research reveals how shockingly under-vauled our NHS, edu... more >
Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

10/06/2019Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

Peter Skitt, county director and commissioner for Ceredigion Hywel Dda University Health Board, looks ahead to the new integrated care centre bei... more >
Helpforce to launch training programmes for NHS volunteers

10/06/2019Helpforce to launch training programmes for NHS volunteers

Kay Fawcett OBE, clinical advisor and education lead at Helpforce, and Lynn Twinn, talent development consultant, outline the new national traini... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >

health service focus

View all News