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Government must be ‘more courageous’ and support new models of care

By Neil Trainis

PUBLISHED: August 10, 2017 | UPDATED: August 10, 2017

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The deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation has described the health system as “unsustainable” and urged the government to commit money to move more care outside hospitals in the wake of figures again showing services at breaking point.

The latest figures from NHS England puts the number of people waiting for routine surgery in England at its highest for 10 years, with over four million people waiting for operations in June.

The NHS failed to hit its operation target of 92% of people within 18 weeks, with nearly 373,182 waiting longer than 18 weeks since June 2016.

Figures also show that just over 90% of patients spent four hours or less in A&E, failing to meet the 95% target which was last achieved in July 2015.

Danny Mortimer, deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said more funds were needed to ensure new models of care are realised in order to alleviate the pressure on hospitals. He called on ministers to be “more courageous” in supporting such models.

“The current system is unsustainable: we simply do not have the resources to deliver what the public now expects,” he said.

“Performance against these targets shows the system is under pressure and needs transformation and investment, which could include moving more care outside of hospitals.

“In many areas of the country, authentic attempts to create services based on new models of care can be misconstrued as thoughtless cuts.

“Politicians must be willing to engage with the NHS, local government and local communities in helping to reshape local services.

“They should be more willing to fund health and social care, more supportive of radical change, more prepared to back services not buildings and more courageous in supporting new models of care that bring about better outcomes for patients.”