Commenting on NHS England’s monthly performance data and weekly situation report, Ruth Thorlby, Assistant Director of Policy at the Health Foundation, said:
‘NHS England’s latest figures reveal that winter is far from over for the health service.
‘The unprecedented weather last week saw 95% of hospital beds occupied, with four out of five hospitals reporting occupancy rates over the target set by NHS England. This is despite an average of almost six additional hospitals’ worth of extra beds being open per day to care for patients. A&E is also under extreme pressure with the lowest ever performance against the four-hour target.
‘With pressures on services showing no sign of easing we would urge NHS England to continue its weekly reporting on hospital performance until the end of March at least. The reports have played a vital role in painting a transparent picture of how hospitals and emergency services have been affected by winter pressures, and can help target support where it is most needed.
‘Some of the indicators, such as the numbers of people delayed in ambulances, and closures of A&E departments, are only reported in the weekly reports, and these are the things that matter to patients.
‘Today’s data underline once again how intense the pressures have been on staff and patients, and the importance of finding a long-term solution to funding and workforce shortages to avoid further deterioration of the quality of care.’
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