The King's Fund responds to new NHS figures

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Responding to new NHS figures released today, Beccy Baird, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund, said:

‘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 per cent of the respondents said that they could see or speak to someone at a time that suited them and 66 per cent 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 more than a year has risen yet again. Statistics on cancer treatment are particularly alarming: the percentage of cancer patients whose treatment begins within 62 days has dropped to 79 per cent – 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 to guarantee that the right workforce is available into the future.’

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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.