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Our latest quarterly monitoring report finds that nearly two-thirds of NHS trust finance directors and more than half of clinical commissioning groups (CCG) finance leads say the quality of patient care in their area has deteriorated over the past year.
The findings on the quality of care are the most worrying since The King’s Fund began tracking this question in 2012. Only 2 per cent of trust finance directors and 12 per cent of CCG finance leads said that patient care had improved over the past 12 months.
Looking back over 2015/16 as a whole, the report underlines the increasing strain the NHS in England is under as it struggles to manage increasing pressure on services within constrained resources. Data analysis carried out for the report highlights deteriorating performance over the year in several key areas:
- 8 per cent of patients, more than 1.85 million, spent longer than four hours in A&E across the year, the worst performance since 2003/4
- the number of patients waiting for hospital treatment is estimated to have risen to 3.7 million, an increase of 17 per cent (almost 500,000 patients) over the year and the highest number since 2007
- at the end of March 2016, more than 5,700 patients were delayed in hospitals, an increase of 15 per cent over the year and the highest number since 2008.
The latest survey also confirms that 7 out of 10 NHS providers ended 2015/16 in deficit (including 9 out of 10 acute trusts).
About this quarter's report
How is the NHS performing? May 2016 is the nineteenth edition of The King's Fund's regular quarterly monitoring report. Find out more about the work at www.kingsfund.org.uk/qmrproject