Responding to the NHS England performance statistics released today, Dr Becks Fisher, GP and Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, said:
'Following its worst winter on record, 2018 has been a year of sustained pressure on the NHS. More people are attending A&E, requiring admission to hospital and waiting for planned treatments than ever before.
'The NHS continues to miss its own targets across the board, but today’s data shows that performance is at least holding steady. This reflects Herculean efforts on the part of NHS staff, who continue to work under significant pressure all year round.
'The ability of the NHS to withstand winter depends, in part, on its ability to treat people quickly and support them back into the community. It’s encouraging to see that on average people are spending less time in hospital now than in previous years. However the proportion of hospital beds occupied remains very high – 94% - and well above recommended safe levels.
'Today’s data paints a picture of a system struggling against strong tides. The dedication of NHS staff is without question, but there is a shortage of at least 100,000 of them. With adverse weather, flu and vomiting viruses yet to fully hit, the NHS faces its toughest winter yet.'
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