Worrying picture of NHS performance at end of winter Health Foundation response to latest NHS England monthly performance statistics

14 March 2019

Commenting on the latest NHS England monthly performance statistics, Tim Gardner, Senior Policy Fellow the Health Foundation, said:

'Today’s figures present an extremely worrying picture of how the NHS in England is performing at the end of a relatively mild winter. Despite lower levels of flu and vomiting virus, we have seen the worst level of performance against the four hour A&E target since records began.

'The NHS is also struggling to ensure that people with cancer are treated quickly. Nearly 25% of people urgently referred with suspected cancer did not start treatment within the target 62 days in January, largely due to delays in diagnosis.

'It’s unclear how the NHS will be able to meet the new commitment outlined earlier this week to diagnose cancers within 28 days of an urgent referral. Investment is urgently needed in new diagnostic equipment, as well as the workforce to operate it, to speed up diagnosis and treatment.

'Across all the targets, it will also be important that the NHS continues to publish data to allow performance to be monitored over time. The proposed new performance standards, launched earlier this week, will need to be rigorously evaluated to ensure they represent genuine improvements to the quality of care.'

Media contact

Creina Lilburne
Acting Senior External Affairs Manager

020 7664 4647

Further reading

Research report

Unfinished business

November 2018
Research report

What has changed in cancer care in England over the past two decades? What has worked well, or less...


The NHS this winter: looking beneath the national view

14 March 2019

Lucinda Allen delves beneath the national picture to explore how local health systems in England...


NHS winter pressures


Opinion and commentary on the pressures facing England's health and social care services over...

You might also like...


The full health and care data strategy must address its shortcomings


Building trust, addressing health inequalities and improving social care data are critical if the...

Press release

Model that predicts patient risk from COVID-19 wins Florence Nightingale Award for Excellence in Healthcare Data Analytics

Press release

Health Foundation announcement of the winner of the 2021 Florence Nightingale Award for Excellence...

Press release

To realise potential of health data, government must ensure transparency and build trust

Press release

Health Foundation response to the publication of NHSX's data strategy

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

In 2019 the #NHSLongTermPlan set out a 10-year strategy for improving and reforming the NHS in England. Our report… https://t.co/z29UtrJ4p8

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more