Responding to NHS England's monthly performance statistics, Tim Gardner, Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, said:
‘As we enter a new decade, with a new government, today’s figures are a reminder of the escalating challenges facing the NHS.
‘The figures highlight the worst performance ever documented for A&E waiting times. Hospitals opened thousands of extra beds, but still struggled to cope with the record number of patients who needed emergency admission.
‘This situation is unlikely to stabilise, let alone improve, until the major NHS workforce shortages and the crisis in social care are addressed. Dedicated NHS staff are already working incredibly hard under enormous pressure to treat more seriously unwell patients, but a prolonged cold snap or severe flu outbreak could make the next few weeks even worse.
‘The Government has made welcome commitments to recruit more GPs and nurses – we now need to see a comprehensive and realistic plan to deliver this and to support staff already working across primary, community and hospital services.
‘No plan for the NHS will work while social care remains the Cinderella service. Long overdue action on social care is needed to support older people and younger adults with disabilities to live safely and independently, and reduce the pressures on the NHS.’
About 15 mins to read
Five messages for government about priorities and options for social care reform in England.
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