NHS backlog progress at risk from junior doctors' strike in England

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By Nick Triggle

Health correspondent

Progress being made connected tackling the infirmary waiting backlog volition beryllium enactment astatine hazard by adjacent week's inferior doctors' strike, NHS bosses are warning.

NHS England aesculapian manager Prof Sir Stephen Powis said determination had been immense achievements implicit the winter.

But helium said it was inevitable the 72-hour walkout successful England, which starts connected Monday, would person an impact.

It comes arsenic the yearly NHS unit survey shows a falling fig blessed to urge the attraction astatine their service.

The canvass recovered 63% would beryllium blessed to spot a person oregon comparative treated - down by 5 percent points successful the past twelvemonth and 11 implicit 2 years.

Meanwhile, latest show information shows NHS exigency services are continuing to miss their targets, though the concern is not getting worse.

The figures for February amusement conscionable nether 72% of A&E patients were seen successful 4 hours.

Ambulance effect clip for instantly life-threatening class 1 cases was 8 minutes, 30 seconds, portion for class 2 exigency calls, including bosom attacks and strokes, it was conscionable implicit 32 minutes. In December, this roseate to much than 90 minutes.

Dr Tim Cooksley, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said contempt the concern not getting worse it inactive presented a "damning" picture, and warned it was "increasingly causing harm to patients".

Performance successful crab attraction did deteriorate, however, with conscionable 54% of patients starting attraction wrong 2 months pursuing an urgent referral by a GP - that is the worst connected record.

There was much affirmative quality for regular treatments, specified arsenic genu and hep replacements.

While the full fig connected the waiting database remained astatine 7.2 million, determination has been advancement connected tackling agelong waits.

At the extremity of December determination were astir 55,000 radical waiting much than 18 months, but by precocious February that had dropped to beneath 33,000.

Sir Stephen said this was a "huge achievement" particularly fixed it has been winter, which is the busiest clip of twelvemonth for exigency care.

"The NHS volition not halt successful its efforts to bring down 18-month waits, but it is inevitable the upcoming inferior doctors' strikes volition person a important impact."

The walkout by inferior doctors, who correspond 40% of the aesculapian workforce, begins astatine 06:30 GMT connected Monday and volition impact some exigency and planned care.

Consultants are being brought successful to supply cover.

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