The King's Fund responds to NHS performance data

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Commenting on NHS performance data released today Siva Anandaciva, Chief Analyst at The King’s Fund, said:

‘These figures show NHS performance is heading in the wrong direction. The new five-year funding deal for the NHS came with the explicit expectation that the NHS would get back on the path to delivering its core performance standards. But today’s figures show there is still a long way to go, with record numbers of people stuck on hospital waiting lists. There are 4.4 million people waiting for consultant-led care, and the proportion of patients who began their treatments or got diagnostic tests done within NHS time limits were both at their worst level for more than a decade. Cancer patients are also facing longer waits, with the proportion of people who are seen within two weeks following an urgent referral at the lowest level since records began.

‘Despite the best efforts of NHS staff, it is hard to see how the NHS can get back to delivering its performance standards while it remains in the grip of a workforce crisis. If the government is serious about giving patients timely access to care, it must deliver on its promises to address staffing shortages and provide investment and reform for social care and preventative services.’

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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.