Following today’s release of NHS performance data for May, Dr Nick Scriven, immediate past president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said:
“This data highlights the capacity we need to work in “normal” circumstances given that the NHS is only close to reaching the four-hour A&E target because attendances are down 42%.
“We really do fear for the health service over the remainder of the year given the increasing evidence of the mishandling of the pandemic and as yet scarce sign of any meaningful recovery plan.
“The numbers of patients seeking urgent care has been well below what we would expect for this time of the year, more than 50% of patients are waiting more than six weeks for a diagnostic test and, combined with the postponement of much planned treatment, it is a potent mix.
“This could have significant consequences for both patients and hospitals as we adapt to the pressures of Covid and Covid-free working.
“Exhausted staff are doing their utmost to adapt to the demands of this whilst trying to continue keep up with changing policies that seem to be announced last thing on a Friday.”