Responding to today’s NHS Improvement performance report, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“We cannot go on like this. This is the story of an unsustainable system. The NHS in England is seeing more patients than ever within four hours at A&E, but it is not still meeting the 95% target, nor indeed many other targets. One in five beds is occupied by a patient who has been in hospital for more than three weeks.
“Add to all this 108,000 vacancies and huge agency costs – we cannot simply do more of the same.
“It is now clear we have to transform the model of care, to help patients stay in their own homes and communities with hospital becoming the last not the first resort.
“With the long-term plan, we have an opportunity to roll our a different approach throughout the country but it will need more investment in GP and community services.
“We also need to acknowledge that the NHS and social care are ‘in it together’ – if one falls, the other will follow – without meaningful investment in social care the NHS Plan will fail.”