Recent performance figures from NHS England show that the NHS continues to struggle. Despite initiatives put in place this year the heatwave amongst other challenges has made this a difficult summer for our healthcare system.
Figures show that, in July this year during the biggest heatwave in 40 years A&E attendance hit its highest numbers ever with 2,176,022 attendances. Performance against the four-hour A&E target dropped to 89.3%, the worst performance in July ever.
Responding to this, Danny Mortimer, deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“These statistics show a whole system – from A&E through to primary care – under relentless pressure. The Referral to Treatment statistics in this report are particularly disappointing, with the number of patients waiting over a year for treatment more than doubling in the space of a year.
“The heatwave has meant no respite, with emergency attendances up nearly 5 per cent on last year and condemning the NHS to yet another month of missed A&E targets. It is now clearer than ever that a system-wide approach is essential to provide more care in the community, reduce the strain on hospitals and prevent NHS and care services from falling over.”
Beccy Baird, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund, added:
“This year’s GP survey figures reflect the real challenges facing general practice, with over a third of patients struggling to get an appointment when they need one. Just 62% of people said that they could see or speak to someone at a time that suited them, and 66% of people who wanted one were able to get an appointment the same day.
“New statistics on hospital performance show that people are still waiting for longer than they should for treatment. More than 4.3 million people are waiting for their treatment to begin after a referral, and the number of people waiting for over a year has risen yet again. Statistics on cancer treatment are particularly alarming: the percentage of cancer patients whose treatment began within 62 days has dropped to 79% – the lowest since records began.
“Coming at a time of year when demand is usually lower, these figures show that the NHS is struggling to provide the care that everyone needs. The Government must look at what the NHS needs to do to change how care is delivered and guarantee that the right workforce is available into the future.”