The King's Fund responds to the latest NHS performance stats

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Commenting on the latest monthly NHS hospital performance data, Siva Anandaciva, Chief Analyst at The King’s Fund said:  

‘Today’s data shows patients continuing to experience long waits for hospital care that are sadly off the charts.  

‘Long waits for emergency care, previously only seen in the depths of winter, are now commonplace. In April, more than 24,000 people waited more than 12 hours to be admitted to hospital from A&E – a more than 45-fold increase compared to a year ago. Today’s data also shows some ambulance service response times are still falling far below the national standards, even for patients with the most serious and urgent health needs.
‘The waiting list for planned hospital care continues to climb, now standing at 6.4 million with almost 4 in 10 people on the list now waiting longer than 18 weeks, far below the target. The top priority for the NHS is to tackle the longest waits, so it is some comfort to see the number of people waiting more than two years for planned care starting to come down.  

‘This week’s Queen’s Speech identified reducing the backlog of care as one of the government’s top three priorities. But the reality check is that until ministers grasp the nettle on health and care staffing shortages, it will be patients who continue to pay the price by waiting longer in discomfort, pain and deteriorating health.’ 

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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.