The NHS long-term plan has set no commitment on when the service will get back to meeting its core statutory access targets.
The long-awaited plan, published today, did pledge to speed up access for the sickest patients. But it made no commitment to meet flagship statutory targets, like the four hour benchmark in accident and emergency, ahead of the conclusion of the clinical standards review due in the spring.
Both NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens and prime minister Theresa May also declined to give definitive answers when asked if the health service would get back to meeting its core targets during media interviews ahead of the launch of the plan today, prompting concerns from providers.
Full story on HSJ, 7 January 2019