Responding to the publication today by NHS England of the NHS performance statistics, senior policy fellow Tim Gardner said:  

'Today’s figures are more evidence of the enormous scale of the challenge the NHS will face in the coming months to address growing levels of unmet care needs. They underline the risks of embarking on another major NHS reorganisation, as proposed in the government’s white paper published today. 

'The NHS has been forced to focus on the pandemic and the recent surge in patients seriously unwell with COVID-19 has led to backlogs and delays for other patients. The  4.5 million people waiting for routine procedures like hip and knee operations at the end of December is the highest since records began, and includes nearly 225,000 people who have already waited over a year. These  patients – whether they are on waiting lists or not yet in the system – are likely to need treatment in the coming months and many could be sicker as a result of delays to their care.  

'The government must not underestimate the challenges that the NHS will face even once the worst of the pandemic has passed. Demand for NHS care is likely to increase in coming months. Government would be wise to focus attention on supporting doctors, nurses and other health care workers who have been under immense pressure and address longstanding staff shortages if they want to avoid making a bad situation worse.'

Media contact

Creina Lilburne
creina.lilburne@health.org.uk
020 7664 4647

Further reading

Press release

Encouraging local collaboration to improve care for patients is sensible, but greater ministerial power over the NHS takes health care backwards

11 February 2021
Press release

Health Foundation response to the Health and Care White Paper outlining proposals for legislation to...

You might also like...

Event

Webinar: The Health and Care White Paper unbound

Event

On Thursday 11 March, our panel will unpick and critically assess the major proposals set out in the...

Press release

At the start of the pandemic, NHS earnings had fallen in real terms by over £600 per employee over the last decade

Press release

Health Foundation response to the government's evidence to the NHS review body of a proposed 1% pay...

Chart

NHS Test and Trace performance tracker

Chart

Our latest analysis on the performance of NHS Test and Trace (up to 24 February 2021).

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

At the start of the pandemic, NHS earnings had fallen in real terms by over £600 per employee over the last decade.… https://t.co/7FGXgCjKSy

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more