The gap between funds and delivery is a chasm in the NHS: something has to give

Waiting lists are at their highest in eight years.  In the absence of extra money, we need an open and honest public debate about where the cuts should fall.

It is now time for our national health chiefs and political leaders to acknowledge publicly that the NHS can no longer deliver what is being asked of it for the funding available.

Despite the best efforts of hard-working staff, hospital accident and emergency performance is now the worst it has ever been. In the first three months of this year only four of the 138 large A&E departments saw the required 95% of patients within four hours. One in 10 patients had to wait more than four hours, the highest level at this time of year since 2003-04.

Waiting lists for operations, with 3.9 million patients, are now at their highest point since December 2007. The three million mark used to be considered a line not to cross, but experts have suggested that the waiting list target is irrecoverable. There are similar problems of dropping performance against cancer and ambulance standards, with mental health and community services under similar pressure.

For full article The Guardian 10 September 2016