Next year’s A&E targets will be impossible to meet says health trusts

Full Story in The Guardian 29 March 2018

NHS plans for the coming year will be impossible to deliver despite Theresa May’s promise to accelerate long-term funding, trusts have said.

Amid mounting pressure, the prime minister pledged on Tuesday to provide details of a multiyear funding settlement imminently but the trade association NHS Providers says it offers no instant relief to its members.

The association says trusts are being asked to make £4bn worth of savings – 20% higher than the current year – in 2018-19 and, to meet targets, will probably have to treat 2.4 million more A&E patients within four hours.

Just 5% of trust leaders surveyed for its Tough Task report, published on Thursday, were confident their emergency departments would be able to meet the stipulated level. Only 14% expressed confidence they would be able to stop waiting lists lengthening for planned operations, as required by another target.