Commenting on the latest monthly NHS hospital performance data, Danielle Jefferies, Policy Analyst at The King’s Fund said:
‘Today’s figures reveal a health and care system in a state of steady crisis, with waiting times for care continuing to surge to unprecedented levels. The new government faces some difficult decisions and will need to be honest with the public about the standards of care they can expect.’
‘Thanks to the huge efforts of NHS staff, significant progress has been made in reducing the number of people facing waits of two years or more for planned hospital treatment1. But overall waiting list has continued to grow to 6.6 million people and the number of people waiting more than a year is also rising.
‘The latest data also shows 12,400 patients stuck in hospital every day despite being well enough to be discharged, in part due to overwhelming pressure on social care services.
‘Delayed discharges use up beds that are desperately needed for people who need to be admitted to hospital and may put patients at risk. In June more than 22,000 people waited more than 12 hours to be admitted to hospital from A&E – a 17 per cent increase on last month. Ambulance service response times are also going back in the wrong direction, with patients waiting 50 minutes for an ambulance when they should be waiting no longer than 18 minutes.
‘The huge mismatch between capacity and demand in NHS hospitals shows no sign of letting up and rising Covid-19 infections will only exacerbate shortages of staff.
‘The NHS has shown in the past that it can deliver rapid improvements to waiting times and patient care when it is has sufficient capacity. The additional funding from the health and care levy will be vital to helping the NHS continue to make progress on the backlog. But the lack of a fully funded workforce plan undermines ambitions for a better, and more efficient health and care system.’
Notes to editors
For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2585 (if calling out of hours, please ring 07584 146035).
The 2021 NHS Staff Survey results were published on 30 March 2022 and are available from the NHS Staff Survey website.
Analysis by The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust of British Social Attitudes survey of public satisfaction with the NHS in 2021 shows that public satisfaction with the NHS is at a 25-year low. The main reason for dissatisfaction with the NHS overall was waiting times for GP and hospital appointments (65 per cent) followed by staff shortages (46 per cent) and a view that the government does not spend enough money on the NHS (40 per cent). Explore the full findings.
During the parliamentary passage of the Health and Care Bill, the government has blocked efforts to require the regular publication of health and care workforce projections to make clear how many staff are needed. More information is available in The King’s Fund’s latest briefing on the Health and Care Bill.
The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.