Performance data ‘hits home shape NHS is in’ – SAM past president

Following the release today (11 February) of the latest NHS performance data, Dr Nick Scriven, immediate past president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: “This data really hits home what shape the NHS is in and how long the road to recovery is going to be.

“A&E figures show the worst 12-hour performance since data started and only 70% of type 1 patients seen within the four-hour target despite attendances being down by 40%. 

“This shows just how much pressure hospitals are under during the time period shown with the Covid wave in full force and demonstrates how much effect keeping people safe from cross infection means to time-based targets. 

“More than four million people are waiting to start treatment and a quarter of a million of these have been waiting more than 52 weeks, while 30% of people were waiting six weeks or more for one of the 15 key diagnostic tests – against a target of 1%.

“Given these figures and just how exhausted the health system is right now, is the time right for a major NHS reorganisation? 

“Also, can we justify dropping the four-hour target, as is being suggested, for what may appear solely because it hasn’t been met for so long? Changes to measurements do not automatically make things better.

“Hospitals are still miles away from what would have been considered ‘normal’ levels of acuity and dependancy for people in inpatient beds. It will take weeks if not months of hard hard work to get things back to ‘usual parameters’.”