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90% of health and care leaders 'concerned' about winter pressures

90% of health and care leaders 'concerned' about winter pressures

More than 90% of health and care leaders have said they are ‘concerned’ about their organisation’s ability to cope with demand this winter
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More than 90% of health and care leaders have said they are ‘concerned’ about their organisation’s ability to cope with demand this winter, according to a survey by NHS Confederation.

The survey of 131 NHS and social care leaders also found that 62% were ‘extremely concerned’ about the winter pressures ahead.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of NHS Confederation, said the health service was ‘just about coping’ last year with this year looking to be increasingly ‘more challenging’.

He said: ‘Not only is there the prospect of ongoing pressure, high bed occupancy, and DTOC blockages in flow, but the worry too of a serious flu attack combined with bad weather.’

He added: ‘Hospitals and emergency departments are simply not able to recruit the staff they need.

‘In some respects of course the annual winter crisis is now an all-year round crisis with some additional and serious pressures over the next period.’

Mr Dickson went on to say that effective planning at local level was now the key, with co-operation between all parts of the system, including commissioners, social care, all parts of the hospital, as well as community and primary care.

He said: ‘NHS trusts, health service commissioners and health and care providers are increasingly facing difficult choices over service provision and staff capacity.

‘We will continue to push the government for a comprehensive review looking at which services are needed, where they are needed, how much they will cost and how they will be funded.

Mr Dickson said that the November budget ‘will be an opportunity for the government to underline its support for the NHS and social care system’.

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