Coherent national strategy for balancing NHS pressures is urgently needed: The King's Fund response to the latest NHS hospital performance data

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

‘Today’s figures show the NHS is doing its best to restart services for patients, with increasing activity in emergency care and planned hospital care.

‘However, the waiting list for routine hospital treatment has further swelled to over 5.3 million – larger than the population of Norway – and with many more people who weren’t referred during the pandemic now coming forward for treatment, this list will continue to grow. Demand for emergency services has also returned to pre-pandemic levels with 2.2 million people attending A&E in June and the largest number of attendances at major A&E departments since current records began.

‘Even as the country emerges from the pandemic and more restrictions are lifted, the crisis is far from over for health and care services and exhausted staff. NHS services face competing demands for their limited resources and a coherent national strategy for balancing these pressures is urgently needed.

‘The NHS has improved patient care by successfully tackling mammoth waiting lists before. But to achieve this again the NHS will need time, resources and a credible workforce plan.’

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.