Following the release of NHS performance data for April, Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said:
“The NHS has faced massive challenges in delivering acute and urgent care this year and these will not go away or lessen in any way over the next years and decades.
“There were more than six million emergency admissions in April, the four-hour target was 2% down on the previous year and 5,000 beds were taken up by delayed discharges – there is little sign of any let up.
“There is an absolute need to start reflecting on what has happened and plan ahead and factored into this must be an understanding of how essential it is to get it right to ensure the workforce has adequate time to recover and energise.
“We wait in great anticipation for the secretary of state’s long term plan for the NHS to be unveiled but it must also be made very clear that short term planning is crucial if we are to create a safe, quality and sustainable service for patients all year round.”