‘Worst ever’ July A&E performance shows collapse in NHS standards under Theresa May

NHS NHS Management

LATEST figures on A&E waiting times reveal the “astonishing” collapse in NHS standards under Theresa May, Labour said today.

Monthly statistics for July 2018 published by NHS England show that just 89.3 per cent of people attending A&E were seen within four hours, well below the 95 per cent target.

That dismal performance means NHS England has consistently failed to meet the 95 per cent four-hour target — lowered from 98 per cent by the coalition government — since July 2015.

The number of people attending A&E in July 2018 also hit a record 2.176 million people in July 2018, the highest figure since records began in 2010.

Shadow health minister Justin Madders said: “After two years of Theresa May’s premiership, patients are left with the worst-ever July A&E performance, thousands more people waiting too long for cancer treatment and waiting lists well above four million.”

“The sheer scale of the collapse in standards for patients since the Prime Minister took over is astonishing.”

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said there had been “no respite” for NHS staff this summer.

“We have also seen exceptionally high numbers of patients then admitted to hospital beds,” he said. “This has led to more patients waiting longer to be seen in A&E with performance against the four hour standard slipping further.

“All of this is a symptom of an NHS running at boiling point all year round.”

Royal College of Emergency Medicine president Dr Taj Hassan said: “The recent heatwave will have had an impact, but this should not be used to excuse inappropriate resourcing.

“It should also not come as a surprise that whatever the weather conditions, working in a continually under-resourced and declining system has consequences — all of which are detrimental to our patients.”

NHS England also published the 2018 GP Patient Survey yesterday, which revealed that 24 per cent of patients had to wait a week or more for an appointment, up from 20 per cent in 2017.

Shadow minister for community care Julie Cooper said: “Today’s patient survey is yet more evidence of the Tories’ devastating failure to deliver for GPs and their patients as staffing shortages lead to cuts in services and reduced availability of treatments.”