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Commenting on the publication today of the NHS monthly performance statistics, Tim Gardner, Assistant Director of Policy at the Health Foundation, said: 

‘Today’s data shows further signs of progress as the NHS waiting list has fallen for the fifth month in a row. But with over 7.5 million still waiting for care – over 300,000 more than when the Prime Minister made his pledge to cut waiting lists in January 2023 – the scale of the task ahead remains huge. These figures represent millions of people often experiencing avoidable discomfort and pain that can also affect their ability to work.  

‘Urgent and emergency care remains under intense pressure, with nearly 43,000 spending more than 12 hours in A&E before being admitted to a bed last month. Despite the huge efforts of staff, targets set by government to improve A&E waits and ambulance response times have not been met. 

‘The NHS workforce is under immense strain, with just 1 in 3 believing they have sufficient staff to do their jobs. And while ministers have been quick to blame long waits on industrial action, our analysis last year found the strikes have only directly resulted in a small increase in the overall waiting list. Without bold, decisive action, the long-term problems facing the NHS won't go away. If the next government wants to turn the tide then a commitment to stable, long-term investment is needed, alongside boosting the workforce and a renewed drive to increase productivity.’ 

Media contact

Nick Codling
020 8152 8116

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