Trusts face relentless rise in demand through the summer

NHS Providers has responded to concerning new data showing a rise in A&E attendance

New performance figures show the highest ever levels of August A&E attendance, and the NHS is concerned as demand is likely to rise even further as winter nears.

Responding to the latest monthly performance figures from NHS England/Improvement, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said:

“With the highest ever August A&E attendances on record, today’s figures highlight how hard trusts are working to stabilise performance despite more people accessing emergency care.

“Demand is up 6.4% on the same point last year, and yet trusts broadly managed to maintain their performance this summer. This is due – in large part – to the sheer dedication and discretionary effort of NHS staff.

“However, with winter coming up, these figures are a concern. This is because in the past trusts have been able to improve performance during the summer months, but as these figures show, that just hasn’t been possible this year.

“The likelihood is that this winter will be a very testing time for trusts. We anticipate that performance will slip even further, with patients waiting longer for treatment across various services.

“Trusts are working with local system partners to prepare for the winter pressures. But unlike previous years trusts have not yet received any additional winter funding from the government to assist with these vital plans.”

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