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‘Urgent decisions’ needed amid political uncertainty as A&E attendances soar


9 June 2017

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A&E attendances and admissions continued to increase in April this year, with trust leaders saying ‘there has been no respite for the NHS’.

Official figures released by NHS England have shown that A&E attendances in April were 4% higher than for the same month last year.

Meanwhile the number of emergency admissions through A&E also rose by nearly 5% compared with April 2016.

A&E attendances and admissions continued to increase in April this year, with trust leaders saying ‘there has been no respite for the NHS’.

Official figures released by NHS England have shown that A&E attendances in April were 4% higher than for the same month last year.

Meanwhile the number of emergency admissions through A&E also rose by nearly 5% compared with April 2016.

While the figures show demand is continuing to increase, NHS Providers, the trade body for hospitals said the health service ‘is doing all it can to respond to these pressures’ by increasing routine care and testing.

The figures show that routine hospital treatment also rose by more than 5% while the number of diagnostic tests in April was nearly 10% higher than for the same month in 2016.

However, there are worrying signs that the system is struggling to cope as the two week standard from urgent GP referral to seeing a consultant was missed for only the second time since 2009.

The chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said: ‘These figures show there has been no respite for the NHS. The concerns about the ability of the health service to respond to growing demand – which became so pressing during the winter – are still with us.

‘It is clear that trusts are continuing to do all they can. But it is equally clear the situation is unsustainable.

‘Despite political uncertainty, we need urgent decisions to ensure the NHS has the capacity to deal with the coming winter, and beyond that, to respond to longer term pressures.’

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