‘New ”normal” at unacceptably poor level’ – SAM president

Commenting today (12 May) on the latest NHS performance data, which shows a record 24,138 people had to wait more than 12 hours in A&E departments in England in April with 72.3 per cent of patients seen within four hours, Dr Tim Cooksley, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said:

“The latest set of performance data shows that the new “normal” is at an unacceptably poor level for both patients and staff.

“Pressures are at unsustainable levels and, at months where NHS teams hope for a quieter period, worse performance and standards are dominating the horizon.

“Clinical and operational staff continue to work tirelessly to improve the situation but morale is now extremely low as these efforts are not yielding the desired results.

“All parts of the NHS are unquestionably struggling.

“Prolonged waits for ambulances, long stays in emergency departments and acute medical units, longer periods for patients in hospitals waiting for social care and increased waiting on elective lists with large numbers of cancellations due to lack of beds epitomise the challenges.

“The absence of significant plans in the Queen’s Speech to recognise the NHS and social care crisis is of grave concern.

“This is an emergency which needs recognition, action and support on an urgent basis; it cannot afford to join the waiting list being endured by so many patients.”