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NHS foundation trusts tackle rising patient demand


23 February 2015

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NHS foundation trusts are working hard to provide patients with quality care in the face of sustained operational and financial pressures, according to Monitor.

Analysis by the health sector regulator shows that foundation trusts saw 2.7 million people in their A&E units between October and December 2014, 8% higher than the same period last year.

NHS foundation trusts are working hard to provide patients with quality care in the face of sustained operational and financial pressures, according to Monitor.

Analysis by the health sector regulator shows that foundation trusts saw 2.7 million people in their A&E units between October and December 2014, 8% higher than the same period last year.

Subsequently, hospitals admitted 570,000 for further treatment that is an extra 40,000 patients compared to last year. In addition, foundation trusts treated more than 2.3 million non-emergency patients in the quarter, an increase of 7% over the same period last year.

However, this increased activity, combined with the continued need to make cost savings and use expensive agency staff, is putting trusts under exceptional pressure.

For example, ambulance foundation trusts dealt with 933,000 calls, a 13% increase compared to the same period last year, but some have staff vacancy rates of up to 24%. The 149 foundation trusts-which make up nearly two-thirds of all NHS trusts-have failed to meet national waiting times targets for A&E, routine and cancer care for 3 successive quarters.

Dr David Bennett, chief executive at Monitor, said:

“Trusts are working harder than ever to overcome the challenges they face while still meeting patients’ expectations for quality care. However, the NHS needs to move rapidly towards more joined-up, efficient models of care if it is to deal with this continuing growth in demand for services.”

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