Director of Policy at the NHS Confederation, Nick Ville, provides an update regarding the impact of winter on NHS staff performance and how crucial the NHS Long-Term Plan is.
Responding to NHS Improvement’s quarterly performance of the NHS provider sector report, along with the latest winter situation reports, Ville talks how NHS staff performance has positively impacted patient treatment, with more patients being treated than ever before, and how the NHS Long-Term Plan requires a strong foundation to be set to facilitate and respond to the dynamic needs of the public.
NHS staff performance
Responding to NHS Improvement’s quarterly performance of the NHS provider sector report, Nick Ville, Director of Policy at the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, explains:
“These figures reflect the stark reality facing NHS trusts resulting from the combination of relentless increases in patient demand, 100,000 staff vacancies and the legacy of a decade of austerity.
“NHS Improvement’s report shows that NHS staff are working harder than ever, with more patients being treated whilst delivering efficiency savings.
“Despite this, the NHS continues to be unable to meet its performance targets as the funding available has not kept pace with the demands on front-line services. This has led to the financial performance of NHS trusts being more than £250 million behind what was planned.
“The good news is that the new Five-Year funding settlement and the NHS Long Term Plan provides stability and a welcome vision for the future. But we should be under no illusions about the scale of the challenge facing the NHS to get back into the black, meet key waiting time targets and address the staff shortages holding the service back.”
How crucial is the NHS Long Term Plan and new funding?
Responding to NHS England’s latest winter situation reports, Ville adds: “These latest figures mark the end of winter and the NHS has come through in in better shape than we could have hoped.
“More patients are being treated than ever before despite huge demands being placed on front-line services. This is credit to NHS staff who go above and beyond every day for their patients, and to the extra funding and planning that went into this winter’s preparations.
“But we should all be clear that this is not a sustainable way to run a health service. Staff have been put under immense strain and we must not put them in this position again.
“That’s why the NHS Long Term Plan and new funding settlement is so crucial. We must put the foundations in place to ensure we are able to meet the needs of a changing, older population with more complex health needs.”