Responding to NHS Improvement’s ‘Quarterly report on the performance of the NHS provider sector’, Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation which represents health service organisations across England, said:

“This is a tragedy – the NHS had made huge strides to treat and care for patients promptly but the latest figures show a further deterioration – and behind those figures lie real suffering for patients and exhausted staff.

“The danger now is that efforts to transform services that government has rightly been championing are derailed because of all the effort that has to go into keeping the service going and trying to balance the books.

“The immediate priority is additional funding for social care – this is a system that is letting down more than one million elderly people who are not receiving the support they need – the result is overstretched hospitals having to cope with too many admissions and too many patients unable to be discharged. There is a similar story in mental health – which has yet to see the benefit from warm words of support from national leaders.”