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NHS in England ‘performing at worst ever levels’ against A&E and cancer targets

New data has revealed NHS England is performing at its worst ever levels against a host of targets for emergency departments, cancer care and patients waiting on trolleys.
Trolley_Corridor

New data has revealed NHS England is performing at its worst ever levels against a host of targets for emergency departments, cancer care and patients waiting on trolleys

NHS England figures reveal that in December, just 86.2% of A&E patients were seen within four hours the worst figure on record.

Meanwhile, the number of people waiting more than two months to start cancer treatment after urgent referral was 25,157 in 2016 the highest on record, up on 23,760 in 2015 and 13,191 in 2010.

Delayed transfers of care were also at their highest, with the total number of hospital days lost rising from 1,747,318 in 2015 to 2,157,155 in 2016.

New data shows 2,593 people waited more than 12 hours to be admitted in 2016, more than double the 1,206 in the previous year.

In 2011,

New data has revealed NHS England is performing at its worst ever levels against a host of targets for emergency departments, cancer care and patients waiting on trolleys

Trolley_Corridor
Picture: Charles Milligan

NHS England figures reveal that in December, just 86.2% of A&E patients were seen within four hours – the worst figure on record. 

Meanwhile, the number of people waiting more than two months to start cancer treatment after urgent referral was 25,157 in 2016 – the highest on record, up on 23,760 in 2015 and 13,191 in 2010.

Delayed transfers of care were also at their highest, with the total number of hospital days lost rising from 1,747,318 in 2015 to 2,157,155 in 2016.

New data shows 2,593 people waited more than 12 hours to be admitted in 2016, more than double the 1,206 in the previous year.

In 2011, just 129 people waited longer than 12 hours to be admitted.

The A&E attendance rate has risen, with 23,571,831 in 2016, up from 22,394,734 the year before.

Straining to meet demand

Commenting on A&E targets, RCN general secretary Janet Davies said: ‘Behind every missed target is a patient and their family who are experiencing some of the worst conditions the health service has seen for years.

‘Dedicated nurses and healthcare assistants, the backbone of the NHS, continue to prop up a system that is straining to meet demand.

‘Nursing staff want to give the best care they can, but there is no easy way to explain to a sick patient why they have been waiting on a hospital trolley for 12 hours or more.

‘Nurses are being told to discharge patients before they are fit just to free up beds. It is a vicious circle, with community health and social care also struggling to cope with demand.’

NHS England director for operations and information Matthew Swindells said: ‘NHS frontline services came under real pressure in December, with A&E, ambulances and NHS 111 all helping record numbers of patients and callers.

‘Despite these pressures, it is a tribute to the professionalism and dedication of doctors, nurses and other staff in A&E that they continue to see, treat, admit or discharge the vast majority of patients within four hours.’


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