It is well known that the NHS is under significant pressures all year round. But, in a worrying report of the figures for performance in England’s hospitals, it seems that things are much worse than might have been expected.
It has been reported this week that the performance of hospitals in England is at the worst level on record.
- At the end of September 2019, there were 42 million patients on the waiting list.
- The target for cancer patients to start treatment in under 18 weeks is 92%, but in reality only 8% were on target – the worst performance result since the introduction of the target in 2012.
- The target for A&E patients to be admitted or transferred within 4 hours is 95%, but in October 2019 the result was 6% – the worse performance since the introduction of the target in 2004.
The worrying figures have prompted warnings that patients were suffering because of delays in accessing vital care.
As we head into the winter months, when inevitably resources will be stretched due to the usual rise in demand in the cold season, fears are growing that NHS services will struggle to cope.
Dr Nick Scriven at the Society of Acute Medicine was reported as saying
“These figures are truly worrying as we haven’t even reached the ‘traditional’ winter period yet.”
He warned that urgent action was required.
Performance of hospitals in England – Comment
Clearly, the reports this week are incredibly worrying. The pressures on the NHS continue to rise and these figures show that the system is struggling to cope. Delays and missed opportunities can result in patients suffering unnecessary pain and potential further injury and it is vital that more is done to review and assess the situation.
But what can be done? Over-stretched and under-resourced is not a problem that can be resolved overnight. More funding, more staff, more resources are all major concerns that the Government need to highlight and seriously work on.
If you think you may have suffered as a result of a delay in receiving treatment, it is important that you raise concerns as soon as possible and consider whether you need to seek legal advice.
If you have any questions in relation to the subjects discussed in this article, then please get in touch with Danielle or another member of the team in Derby, Leicester or Nottingham on 0800 024 1976 or via our online form.