NHS leaders more concerned about this winter than any previous one | UK News
Around 85% of NHS trust leaders say they care more about this winter than any previous winter in their careers.
The figure comes from a poll of health trustees of NHS Providers as UK waiting lists continue to hit record levels and cancer targets often overlooked.
About 48% of confidence leaders rate the quality of health provided by their locality as very high or high, while only 30% predict that it will be up to that standard in two years’ time.
Nearly half (46%) agree or agree that they are on track to achieve the cancer and recovery selection goals by the end of the financial year.
And another 27% disagree or disagree, while a quarter (24%) disagree or strongly disagree that they can achieve the goals, which have been set in place after the pandemic.
Saffron Cordery, the organisation’s interim chief executive, said: “Warning bells will ring across Whitehall with warnings from our trust leaders that less than half of hope will be achieved. elective cancer and recovery goals at the end of the year”.
Only 61.7% of people received cancer treatment within 62 days of an urgent cancer referral, compared with 77.2% before the COVID-19 pandemic.
In February, NHS England said the figure would return to pre-pandemic levels by March next year.
Winter is of course a tougher time for the NHS, as more and more people need hospital care with respiratory conditions or problems made worse by cold weather and viruses.
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But many trust leaders told the survey that staff shortages, burnout, employee retention and employee absenteeism are major concerns.
There are also continuing problems with ambulances lined up outside hospitals, due to bed shortages, at least in part due to the problem of discharging medically fit patients into the community.
Ms Cordery said: “We are unable to overcome the severe impacts caused by hospitals not being able to discharge thousands of patients who are well enough to recover at home or closer – which adversely affects admissions. hospital in a timely manner, including from A&E and patient handovers from waiting ambulances – without addressing the long-term challenges facing the social care sector.”
At the same time, a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies says NHS spending is, in real terms, 12% higher than 2019 levels, but the health service is getting fewer and fewer people off the waiting list. .
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Max Warner, the report’s author, said: “If the NHS continues to fail to convert additional sources into additional activity or waitlist participation numbers return anything like a predicted number, then The waiting list, and the costs associated with poor health and delayed treatment, will continue to grow for some time to come.”
An NHS spokesman said: “Despite concerns about what could be a very challenging winter, the NHS is now on track to deliver further recovery milestones.
“The NHS has virtually eliminated the two-year care wait time, and the wait time of more than 18 months was reduced by 60% last September.”
She said “certainly the NHS is under considerable pressure” but said it was “preparing extensively and have put in place plans to manage additional demand, including through 24/24 control rooms. 7, service cascade and recruit more call handlers”.