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Will the NHS cope with winter pressures?

An article published on the OnMedica website reports that 90% of health and care leaders across England are “concerned” about how their organisation will cope with winter pressures, with 62% of these leaders feeling “extremely concerned”.

Niall Dickson, NHS Confederation Chief, confirms that “many organisations will struggle to meet expectations”.  Last year was difficult but services just managed to cope.  However, this year these same services will face not only the ongoing challenges of high bed occupancy, delayed transfers of care, staffing shortages etc, but there is also the potential for a serious flu attack and bad weather to add to this mix.

Recent data from NHS Improvement shows a 25.9% increase in time-critical and life-threatening ambulance calls, leading to a rise in A&E attendances and admissions.   This translates into services under pressure all year-round, with additional, serious, pressures over the winter months.

The only way to deal with this crisis is through the use of good, effective, collaborative planning across all parts of the health and care system.

Niall also went on to add that the Confed will continue to push for a comprehensive review of all health and care services to ascertain supply/demand and costs/funding.    He added that the November budget is an opportunity for the government to demonstrate support for the Social care and NHS services and he suggested that any additional money should be targeted towards the provision of more out of hospital beds and services in order to free up hospital capacity.

Read the full article here.