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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 further proves that the NHS is experiencing a difficult winter amid an increase in seasonal flu and continued industrial action. 

‘A small but continued drop in the waiting list in December is welcome and testament to the hard work of staff. But progress is slow, with the waiting lists stubbornly high at 7.6 million and over 337,000 people waiting longer than a year. Moreover, strains in urgent and emergency care show how intense the pressures on the NHS remain, with over 54,000 patients spending over 12 hours in A&E departments waiting for a bed in January.

‘Despite the seasonal flu outbreak not being unusually severe, patients are still experiencing unacceptably long waits, and NHS staff are working under immense pressure. There are no quick fixes, but health services can recover if action is taken to tackle the root causes of the crisis. Ahead of an upcoming election, the case for prioritising the long-term sustainability of the health and care service couldn't be stronger. This includes investment to build the workforce, boost infrastructure, harness technology, and reform the social care system.’

Media contact

Billie Morgan
020 7257 8000
0790 8637 666

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