The King's Fund responds to today's NHS England's combined performance summary

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Commenting on today’s NHS England's combined performance summary, Richard Murray, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund said:

‘Amidst the political rhetoric of the general election campaign, today’s statistics lay bare the stark reality for patients across the country who are struggling to access NHS hospital services.

‘Performance against the target to see people within four hours in A&E now stands at its worst level since records began, and this is before winter has even started. Only 2 out of 119 hospitals with a major A&E department met this target in October.

‘Meanwhile, the number of people waiting to start treatment reached 4.6 million – a 5.7 per cent year-on-year increase, and the NHS continues to breach its major targets for people beginning cancer treatment.

‘These figures underline the scale of the challenge for the next government, which will enter office when the NHS faces one of the worst winters in its history.

‘This is a crisis in the making and winter won’t wait; the new government must prioritise addressing chronic NHS staffing shortages and expediting measures to deal with the consultant pensions crisis, which is heaping additional pressures on A&E departments.’

Notes to editors

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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.