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NHS ‘deprived of critical breathing space’ to recover from winter, says NHS Confederation

Nick Ville, director of membership and policy at the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, responded to the latest winter performance figures from NHS England

“After an extremely tough start to the winter, we have seen the first small signal of improvement. Following six weeks of pronounced ambulance delays, we have seen the first consistent falls in the number of people waiting longer than they should, thanks to the tireless efforts of staff.

“Of course, we are far from out of the woods. Staff are doing all they can to treat patients quickly and safely, but continued increases in long-stay bed occupancy figures, coupled with rising numbers of beds closed by norovirus, are cause for concern. Furthermore, the time it has taken even to see small improvements reinforces the extent to which the NHS has been deprived of critical breathing space to recover from one winter to the next.

“While continuing to prioritise those most in need this winter, we must explore how the NHS can be given what it needs to regain its footing, so that patients and the service do not find themselves in the same or an even worse position next year.”

Full weekly data tables from NHS England: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/winter-daily-sitreps/winter-daily-sitrep-2019-20-data/

A&E Closures

There were no A&E closures 20-26 January 2020 or in the same week in 2019

A&E Diverts

2020

There were 25 A&E diverts between 20-26 January 2020

2019

There were 25 A&E diverts between 21-27 January 2019

There is no change between 2019 and 2020

Ambulance arrivals & delays

20-26 January 2020

Total A&E attendances – 93,701

30-60 minute delays – 8,454

>60minutes delays – 1,910

21-27 January 2019

Total A&E attendances – 98,072

30-60 minute delays – 9,421

>60 minutes delays – 2,521

Attendances were lower by 4,371 in 2020 compared with the same period in 2019

There were 967 fewer delays of 30-60 minutes in 2020 than 2019

There were 611 fewer delays of 60 minutes or more in 2020 than 2019

Overall – ambulance delays were lower this year than the same period last year 

Long-stay bed occupancy

The total number of patients staying longer than 7,14 and 21 days (on average per day)

20-26 January 2020

>7 days – 44,319

>14 days – 26,035

>21 days – 16,632

21-27 January 2019

>7 days – 42,406

>14 days – 24,466

>21 days – 15,550

Bed occupancy was higher in >7, >14 and >21 days.

For >7 days it was higher by 1,913

For >14 days it was higher by 1,569

For >21 days it was higher by 1,083

Bed closures

There were 5,414 beds closed due to D&V/norovirus like symptoms in 20th January – 26 January 2020

There were 3,710 beds closed due to D&V/norovirus like symptoms in 21st January – 27th January 2019

This is an increase of 1,704 in 2020 on 2019

General and Acute bed occupancy

20-26 January 2020

Occupancy Rate – 94.3%

21-27 January 2019

Occupancy Rate – 94.6%

This is a decrease of 0.3% from 2019 to 2020.

There were, on average, 229 more escalation beds open this year than the same week last year.

Adult Critical Care bed occupancy

20-26 January 2020

Occupancy Rate – 81.9%

21-27 January 2019

Occupancy Rate – 85.3%

This is a decrease of 3.4% from 2019 to 2020

Paediatric Intensive Care Unit bed occupancy

20-26 January 2020

Occupancy Rate – 77.9%

21-27 January 2019

Occupancy Rate – 79.7%

This is a decrease of 2.2% from 2019 to 2020

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit bed occupancy

20-26 January 2020

Occupancy Rate – 69.8%

21-27 January 2019

Occupancy Rate – 69.3%

This is an increase of 0.4% from 2019 to 2020

Original article link: https://www.nhsconfed.org/news/2020/01/nhs-deprived-of-critical-breathing-space-to-recover-from-winter

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