Richard Murray, Director of Policy for The King’s Fund, said: ‘This data shows the NHS is still under significant pressure. The proportion of people being seen in four hours in hospital A&E units is now at its lowest level for more than a decade, the number of patients waiting more than 12 hours in A&E departments has reached a new high, and hospital bed occupancy remains well above recommended levels.
‘One of the main reasons for this pressure is an alarmingly sharp rise in emergency admissions in January, which were 6.8 per cent higher than in January last year. This has given hospitals a near impossible task in coping with demand for their services, so huge credit should go to the staff whose hard work and dedication has ensured a very difficult winter has not been even worse. Staff cannot be expected to continue absorbing this pressure indefinitely – a sustainable funding settlement and new workforce strategy are urgently needed.’
Accident & emergency attendances and emergency admissions