The RCP has commented on the latest NHS monthly performance data.
Responding to the latest monthly NHS performance data, Dr Sarah Clarke, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said:
“Today’s figures show that even under extraordinarily difficult circumstances, the dedication and hard work of NHS staff has led to improvements on last month’s stats, particularly with regards to reducing long waits for patients.
“Ambulance times are improving, as are waits for diagnostic tests, but what is truly staggering is to see that fewer than half (45.8%) of patients who are fit to leave hospital are discharged. This creates a huge block in the system and worst of all for patients, means they are not in the right setting for their recovery. The government really shouldn’t ignore the pressures on social and community care any longer.
"Analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) reveals that tackling waiting lists is still a major challenge, and that these lists are 'unlikely to fall significantly in 2023'. The Prime Minister committed to reducing waiting lists as one of his five priorities at the start of January, but as the IFS analysis shows, without urgent action, there will be little progress on this until well into next year.
“The main barrier to cutting waiting lists and delivering high standards of care is staffing shortages and an overwhelmed social care system. Both these issues need addressing as a priority as does the growing number of health and care staff concerned about pay and conditions. As we move toward the BMA ballot on industrial action closing, we have today as a physician community issued our support to all our members whatever decision they make.”