Stephen Dalton: A&E crisis an indicator of system-wide issues

Stephen Dalton

Responding to today’s NHS performance figures from NHS England and numerous recent reports about winter pressure on the health and care system, Stephen Dalton, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: 

“Pressure on A&E departments is being caused by a lack of funding in primary, community, mental health and social care.
“Health and care staff on the frontline are working harder than ever this winter and are continuing to ‘just about cope’, but this is simply not sustainable. 

“We have been issuing warnings of the system approaching a tipping-point for some time, but we are now starting to see proof that this point has been reached. The government must accept that limited investment at a time of increased demand has consequences.   

“While broad public health programmes have their place, only further and quicker government intervention can fix the imbalance in services that is at the root of this crisis.

“We are also calling for an urgent cross-party process to inform public debate on funding and structures, setting out a plan for the long-term sustainability of the health and care system."
Notes to editors:
  • The NHS Confederation represents 85 per cent of NHS providers and commissioners. The organisation has nearly 500 members across health and social care, including hospitals, community and mental health providers, ambulance trusts and independent sector organisations providing NHS care. It is the only membership body to bring together and speak on behalf of the whole NHS.
  • Follow the NHS Confederation press office on Twitter @NHSConfed_Press.
  • A full list of NHS Confederation press releases and statements can be accessed at its media centre.
  • For media queries, contact Mike Foster (Senior Media Officer - 020 7799 8671 / or Dan Keel (Media and Communications Manager - 020 7799 8637 / For out-of-hours media enquiries, please call the Duty Press Officer on 07880 500 726.

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