Responding to today’s (24 February) NHS Weekly Winter Operational Update, Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation which represents health service organisations across England, said:

“This does demonstrate the NHS’s resilience and willingness to respond in the face of unprecedented demand.

“The period over Christmas has been one of real achievement although it has not been without cost, as clinical staff and managers have been overstretched and some patients are not getting the care they need when they need it. It has also shown, more clearly than ever, that this is an interdependent system where the strains in one part of the service have a major knock-on effect in the other. Our plea to all politicians is have the courage to support reform at the local level and start to fund social care properly.

“Without urgent action many of these services are not sustainable.”