According to official data from NHS England, the NHS is failing to meet some key targets.
Some of these targets include; Accident & Emergency waiting times, cancer treatment and ambulance response times. The failure to meet these targets places patients at risk as there are delays in diagnosis and treatment.
Data from NHS England shows that two out of the eight targets for cancer treatment were missed, one of them being that only 81% of patients started treatment within 62 days of being referred by GPs in the year up to June 2015, when the target is for 85% of patients to start treatment within 62 days.
With diagnostic tests having increased by 5.8% and Consultant-led treatments having increased by 5.1%, it is more vital than ever to meet these targets to ensure the safety of patients. The inability to meet these targets can have tragic results for patients.
The Head of Policy Treatment at Cancer Research UK, Emma Greenwood, states that “England’s cancer survival already lags behind comparable countries and will only get worse if the targets continue to be breached.”
Additionally, the target for Accident & Emergency is for 95% of patients to be seen within four hours. This was missed for the whole of winter 2014. However, recent statistics show that 94.8% of patients are being seen within four hours.
Ambulance call outs were also up by 7% in the year leading up to June 2015. The inability to meet ambulance response times is a serious issue and an additional risk factor.
Anna Bradley, the Chairwoman of the patient group Healthwatch England, has said that a few basic changes to planning discharge times can be put in place across all services. This will in turn free up waiting times and the time of nurses and doctors, resulting in more patients being seen and enabling the NHS to meet its targets.
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