Commenting today on the publication of NHS England's monthly performance statistics for July 2020, Tim Gardner, Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, said:
‘Today's figures represent a significant milestone, with the highest number of people receiving A&E and planned treatment since March when the lockdown began. This is testimony to the hard work of NHS staff, and their determination to return services to normal as much as possible.
‘But the figures also show that normality is still a long way off and there is a growing backlog of unmet health care need. The number of people urgently referred to a specialist for suspected cancer in July was down 19% compared to 2019 and nearly 300,000 fewer people have been referred to a cancer specialist in 2020 when compared to the same time last year. It is also concerning that over 2.1 million people have waited longer than the target 18 weeks for routine treatment such as hip operations - the highest number of people since records began.
‘If people do not get treatment when they need it, we will be storing up more serious health problems for the future. The government and health services must continue to do everything they can to ensure people feel safe and supported to use the NHS when they need it.’
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