Responding to the publication on the monthly NHS performance statistics, Ruth Thorlby, Assistant Director of Policy at the Health Foundation said:
‘Today’s performance data shows the pressures facing the NHS are unrelenting and should be a wake-up call to the next prime minister.
The waiting list for planned hospital care has now grown to 6.73 million, its highest ever, and more patients than ever before, 29,000, waited over 12 hours in emergency departments for a hospital bed.
Credit is due to NHS staff for bringing the number of patients waiting two years or more to under 3,000 by the end of July. But despite these efforts, the number waiting over a year has risen again to 355,000, which is bad for patients and morale-sapping for staff.
Reducing waiting times cannot happen while staff shortages affect every part of the system, from general practice to social care. But Boris Johnson’s would-be successors have said very little about how they will tackle the problems facing health and care services. Rising inflation and government’s unwillingness to provide extra funding for recently announced staff pay increases have put even more pressure on already-squeezed NHS budgets.
The new government must say how it plans to provide sufficient funding for the NHS and social care in the short-term, and bring forward a fully funded plan to grow and support the health and care workforce in the long-term. Failing to do so will leave health and care services in a constant state of crisis, at a time when people most need them.’
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