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Theresa May's Health Secretary must make tackling hospital waiting times a priority

14 Jul 2016

NHS England has performance data published today for May 2016 shows that the Government’s official waiting time target for planned treatment has been missed again.

The data shows that 91.8% of patients waited less than 18 weeks for referral to treatment for consultant-led elective care in May 2016. The Government’s target is 92%.  In A&E, only 90.2% of patients were seen, treated or discharged within four hours, missing the Government’s 95% target. This compares to 94.3% for May 2015.

Miss Clare Marx, President of the Royal College of Surgeons said:

“It is very concerning that yet again the NHS has missed Government waiting times targets. These targets were introduced for a reason to ensure patients receive the best care as quickly as possible. When they are missed, patients and their families are left in distress, often having to deal with prolonged pain, uncertainty, and immobility.

“Reducing waiting times in A&E, as well as for planned operations, and tackling rising delayed transfers of care, which cause a lack of hospital beds, should be at the top of the list of priorities for the new Health Secretary.

“It will not be an easy task. The NHS is currently under enormous pressure with ever-growing financial burdens and an absolute need to address staff morale. The new Health Secretary will need to work with the NHS to act quickly to deal with these issues if the NHS is to be able to provide the care patients expect and deserve.”

Notes to editors

Full data is available here

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

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