Our NHS safe in Conservative hands?

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This information is taken from NHS Key Statistics published today.

Cancer waiting times are the worst on record.

The waiting time target is that 93% patients should have their first consultant appointment within two weeks of referral. This target was met until recently. This target was met almost every month before 2018 but has not been met in the last six months. August 2019 saw record low performance on this measure.

  • On all eight measures collected, 2019/20 performance is lower than previous year.

Waits for diagnostic tests are at their highest level since 2008.

4% of patients have been waiting over 6 weeks to be tested – the target is <1%.

The number of long waits for admission has increased substantially

In 2018-19 there were 629,000 cases where a patient waited longer than 4 hours for admission, which amounts to around one-tenth of all emergency admissions to hospital and was 1.7% higher than in 2017-18. The number of 12-hour waits for decreased by 7% year on year but was over 13 times higher than five years ago. Between 2012-13 and 2018-19, the average daily number of 4-hour waits has increased from 419 to 1,723.

  • In the first six months of 2019-20, 4-hour waits for admission have risen by 47% on the same period in 2018-19, and 12-hour waits more than doubled year-on-year.

Waiting Times for Consultant-Led Treatment have risen to record levels

The waiting time target is that 92% of those on the waiting list at any given time should have been waiting for less than 18 weeks.

  • The current waiting list as of March 2019 is estimated at 4.56 million – up 5% year-on-year and up 40% compared with five years ago.
  • The proportion waiting less than 18 weeks is at its lowest level in a decade.

Delayed Transfers of Care

A ‘delayed transfer of care’ occurs when a patient is in the wrong care setting for their current level of need – e.g. when a patient is ready to depart from hospital, but problems relating to their transfer mean that they are still occupying a bed.

  • Delayed discharges have fallen by 21% in the last three years, but remain 22% higher than six years ago
  • Delays due to waits for home care have more than doubled over the past five years

Cancelled Operations

  • Around 1% of elective operations are cancelled on the day. The percentage of cancellations not treated within 28 days has doubled in recent years
  • In the first five months of 2019-20, urgent cancellations were up 12% on the same period last year, the number of cancellations for the second time (or more) was up 20%.

Patients waiting over 6 weeks for a diagnostic test

The percentage waiting over 6 weeks fell substantially between 2006 and 2008…

  • but has grown since 2013 and has been consistently outside the 1% target

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