Chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, has spoken out saying the NHS could see its worst winter ever this year.
A Department of Health spokeswoman has commented saying: “The NHS has prepared for winter more this year than ever before.” However, despite this, NHS Providers has pointed to some key facts that could affect the way the NHS operates this winter.
The facts are these:
- Attempts to improve NHS finances have failed.
- Accident & Emergency waiting lists remain long.
- Number of beds available remain short.
According to NHS Providers the government must make a further £350 million available to the NHS with immediate effect for a winter crisis to be averted.
Here’s how the statistics break down:
- For 2 years running the target of 4 hour wait to be seen in A&E has been missed.
- In summer only 90% of patients were seen within 4 hours in A&E – almost identical to last year.
- After summer of only 90% of patients seen within 4 hours the winter saw worst waiting times since targets introduced in 2004.
Chris Hopson has said: “Last winter the health service came under pressure as never before. This winter could be worse.
“We are in virtually the same position as this time last year,” he said.
“Unless we get extra money, patients will be put at greater risk as local trusts won’t have the beds and staff they need to meet the extra demand we will face.”