The NHS is still nowhere close to business as usual following the first outbreak of COVID-19 Health Foundation response to NHS England's monthly performance statistics

13 August 2020

Commenting today on the publication today of NHS England’s monthly performance statistics, Tim Gardner, Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, said: 

'Today’s data show the NHS is still nowhere close to business as usual following the first outbreak of COVID-19. At the end of June, nearly half of all people waiting for planned hospital care (48%) had waited beyond the 18-week standard – the worst ever performance since the standard was set in 2012. The number of people being referred to specialist care and starting treatment, including for suspected cancer, has increased from last month but remains well below normal levels.

'The NHS made it through the peak of the outbreak, but the consequences for people with conditions other than COVID-19 are becoming increasingly clear. With so many going without treatment or experiencing long waits, there is a risk that the health of people with serious conditions will deteriorate and mean the NHS has to deal with more patients needing care urgently.

'The NHS and the government now has a crucial window of opportunity to identify and apply lessons learnt from the first wave. While longer waits for treatment are now inevitable, patients with less urgent conditions must not be left without advice and support while they wait.'

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Simon Perry
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