Responding to NHS England's monthly performance statistics, Tim Gardner, Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, said:
‘Today's figures show NHS performance on the main waiting time targets is close to record lows. Despite the lack of a cold snap and flu being less severe than feared so far, this was the worst January for people waiting longer than four hours in A&E since records began. Performance against the 18 week target for non-urgent operations hit an all-time low.
'The government may have promised long-term funding for everyday NHS services, but plans for investing in the workforce and infrastructure remain short-term.
'Announcements of new hospitals and upgrades are welcome but will not address the full scale of the NHS’s crumbling infrastructure. Unless widespread staff shortages are tackled patient care will continue to suffer. Meanwhile, action on supporting the public health and social care services that help keep people healthy and independent is long overdue.
‘While health service staff are working under incredible pressure, they are too few in number and need more support and resources to meet growing demand and deliver the high quality care the public rightly expects.’
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