NHS England has published new monthly data which shows statistics for waiting times, referral to treatment times and delayed transfers across a range of areas including urgent and emergency care, cancer treatment and patient waiting times.
The data shows overwhelmingly that pressure is increasing across services throughout the country and the following in particular:
- Ambulance journeys up 7.9%
- Emergency admissions up 2.7%
- Diagnostic tests up 5.9%
This is against a background of cancer referrals increasing by 71%.
Dr Barbara Hakin, National Director of Commissioning Operations for NHS England said:
‘As these statistics and new performance standards demonstrate, throughout the NHS patients are getting better care than ever before, and they are getting it when they need it and where they need it.’
However, despite this optimism, others are concerned that the figures show that some groups of patients are not receiving adequate care with cancer targets particularly under scrutiny. In the recent data, two out of eight targets for cancer treatment were missed.
Emma Greenwood, head of policy at Cancer Research UK said:
‘Today’s figures yet again show thousands of cancer patients are being failed.
England’s cancer survival already lags behind comparable countries and will only get worse if the target continues to be breached.
This cannot be allowed to continue.’
At a time when budgets are tightly constrained, the prospect of more funds being available to tackle patient care is remote and there is concern that with increasing numbers of patients services which are already under strain are being tested to breaking point.
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