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'A hidden crisis in hospitals up and down the country' - The King's Fund responds to NHS combined performance data

Deborah Ward, Senior Analyst at The King’s Fund, commented on recent monthly NHS performance figures 

‘Despite a mild winter, these figures reveal a hidden crisis in hospitals up and down the country. In February just 84.2 per cent of patients were seen by A&E units within the four-hour target, the lowest level since this data was first collected. Meanwhile the NHS is now missing six out of eight of the existing targets for cancer diagnosis and treatment.

‘We must not become immune to the reality that behind these figures are stories of people with urgent medical needs waiting too long to be treated. While the NHS England’s clinically-led review of NHS access standards seeks to address some of these issues, changing existing targets and introducing new standards is not a panacea for improving patient care – without enough staff and resources to care for patients, targets both new and old will continue to be missed.’

Notes to editors

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2585 or 0207 307 2583 (07584 146 035 if calling out of hours).

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.

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