Responding to today’s NHS England performance figures, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“Staff are working at full capacity to deliver the right care, but the pressures are becoming intolerable.
“Figures from the last six weeks show the number of people arriving at A&E has remained fairly consistent – but today’s results highlight the increasing number of people experiencing delays in ambulances as they arrive.
“The stats also mask the pressures which can be seen across all parts of the system – in social care, community and mental health services, as well as at the hospital front door and in our ambulance services.
“These delays cause distress to patients and their families but emergency departments are seen as a litmus test for the rest of the system. If the health service cannot cope at its front door, what lies behind it will also be struggling.”