The head of the NHS in England has warned of unprecedented pressure on hospitals, ambulances and GPs in the coming months.
Speaking at a meeting of the NHS England board, chief executive Amanda Pritchard said the health service was not only seeing more people overall, but patients were also sick.
Praising the efforts of NHS staff during the summer, when ambulance trusts have been forced to call in the military for help and A&E departments have seen their busiest months, he said: “We have to assume Should things get even tougher in the winter.”
He said the health service faced “unprecedented pressure” during the summer, with 10 million A&E attendances and 3.9 million ambulance incidents in the first five months of the fiscal year.
The largest A&E was seeing 100,000 more attendance than in 2019.
“It is no secret that the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic place enormous strain on both our physical ability and that of our employees. Our conversations with local leaders over the past few weeks have really highlighted that it is not just the number of people who now need urgent care to pressurize the system, but it is their acumen as well. “
He added that NHS teams across the country are making progress in restoring NHS services despite day-to-day pressures: “We saw five million people start alternative treatment, compared to pre-pandemic, in the first four months of the year. 90 percent of the level. “
In addition, there were 7.5 million diagnostic tests and 870,000 urgent cancer screenings, up from 2019 levels.
“GPS and their teams delivered more than 124 million routine appointments between April and August, more than the same period in 2019. And also, don’t forget that they also delivered most of our vaccination appointments.”
He said the vaccination program is estimated to have saved 127,000 lives and prevented 261,000 patients from being hospitalized with Covid-19.
Ms Pritchard, who took over from Sir Simon Stevens as head of the NHS in England in July, said the focus of the NHS in the coming months is to “achieve the maximum possible level of routine operations and treatment” to avoid the record backlog. Can be tried Out of 5.6 million waiting patients.
She said £1.5bn was being made available to help NHS trusts develop ‘surgical hubs’ to increase their capacity to work more and deliver higher volumes of operations.
She also said that NHS England is making more “targeted investments” for GPs to offer longer appointments, in which she will enable patients to attend ‘face-to-face’ appointments, but she Said: “For many people, digital access, telephone access is more convenient.”
On Thursday, NHS England published its new guidance to NHS trusts for the remaining six months of the year, setting out the key targets hospitals and community services must meet.
These instructions include a plan to eliminate the number of patients waiting more than two years for an operation or treatment by March 2022. Currently about 10,000 people are waiting for two years.
Hospitals were also told to prepare for a winter surge in demand, which could see a flu season 50 percent longer than normal. NHS England has asked trusts to do more to eliminate long waits at A&E and reduce delays in ambulances being able to hand over patients so they can return to call 999.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /