Responding to today’s NHS performance figures from NHS England and numerous recent reports about winter pressure on the health and care system and an A&E crisis, Stephen Dalton, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, said:

“Pressure on A&E departments is being caused by a lack of funding in primary, community, mental health and social care.

“Health and care staff on the front line are working harder than ever this winter and are continuing to ‘just about cope’, but this is simply not sustainable.

“We have been issuing warnings of the system approaching a tipping-point for some time, but we are now starting to see proof that this point has been reached. The Government must accept that limited investment at a time of increased demand has consequences.

“While broad public health programmes have their place, only further and quicker Government intervention can fix the imbalance in services that is at the root of this crisis.

“We are also calling for an urgent cross-party process to inform public debate on funding and structures, setting out a plan for the long-term sustainability of the health and care system.”