The King's Fund responds to NHS performance data

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Responding to today’s NHS statistics, Siva Anandaciva, Chief Analyst at The King’s Fund, said:

‘The first set of winter statistics show the NHS already under tremendous strain and patients waiting longer and longer for care. Despite a mild start to winter and low flu levels, targets are still being badly missed – just 81 per cent of people were seen within four hours at major accident and emergency departments and nearly 55,000 patients spent four or more hours on hospital trolleys waiting for admission, significantly higher than the same time last year. These figures show little slack in a system which is operating consistently in the red zone. Hospital bed occupancy levels are already higher than recommended levels, the point at which hospitals are so full that good patient care is put at risk.

‘Sustained funding squeezes and staff shortages are piling pressure onto hospitals. The upcoming NHS long-term plan must set out how the NHS will deliver the access to care that patients and the public need.’

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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.