The website of the Clinical Services Journal

Unleashing ‘hidden’ minutes in the NHS

Stephen Boyle reflects on why the NHS must change its operating model to address the backlog of care. He explains how healthcare systems can unlock hidden minutes that add up to make a significant difference to bed availability and patient flow.

It is true that over the year 2020 and into 2021, the NHS has evolved. The NHS dealt with the first COVID-19 wave by switching all of its focus to deal with the virus and nothing else – rightly so. Post the first wave, the NHS quickly re-established some (but not all) services and activity. In the second wave, the NHS managed COVID-19 while maintaining key services and increasing activity, but the ‘Kent’ variant of COVID-19, in late November 2020, saw another profound impact on services. Right now, it very much feels like the NHS is moving on to managing COVID-19 and resetting services back towards normal activity levels. However, the next few months look challenging

Commenting on NHS hospital performance data, published in August 2021, Deborah Ward, senior analyst at The King’s Fund, warned: “The waiting list for routine NHS care has ballooned to levels not seen since the early 2000s, and now stands at over 5.4 million and with the potential for many more people who weren’t referred during the pandemic to come forward for treatment, this list will continue to grow. The number of people waiting two years or more for planned care has also rocketed to nearly 6000; people who will be living with conditions that potentially limit their lives while they wait. 

Demand for emergency services has also returned to pre-pandemic levels with 2.2 million people attending A&E in July and  over 1 million calls to the ambulance service last month. NHS hospitals face competing demands for their limited resources and a coherent national strategy for balancing these pressures is urgently needed ahead of winter.” 

Log in or register FREE to read the rest

This story is Premium Content and is only available to registered users. Please log in at the top of the page to view the full text. If you don't already have an account, please register with us completely free of charge.
Register

Upcoming Events

AfPP Annual Conference 2022

University of York
8-11 September 2022

Infection 360: What's trending in infection prevention & control

Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham
27-28 September 2022

IP2022 IS COMING TO BOURNEMOUTH IN OCTOBER 2022

Bournemouth
17-19 October 2022

UKHCA Conference: Listen Up

Pendulum Hotel and Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester
3rd November 2022

MEDICA 2022

Dusseldorf Germany
14th November - 17th November

Future Surgery 2022

ExCel, London
15th - 16th November 2022

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

Upcoming Events

AfPP Annual Conference 2022

University of York
8-11 September 2022

Infection 360: What's trending in infection prevention & control

Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham
27-28 September 2022

IP2022 IS COMING TO BOURNEMOUTH IN OCTOBER 2022

Bournemouth
17-19 October 2022

UKHCA Conference: Listen Up

Pendulum Hotel and Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester
3rd November 2022

MEDICA 2022

Dusseldorf Germany
14th November - 17th November

Future Surgery 2022

ExCel, London
15th - 16th November 2022

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

Step Communications Ltd, Step House, North Farm Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 3DR
Tel: 01892 779999 Fax: 01892 616177
www.step-communications.com
© 2022 Step Communications Ltd. Registered in England. Registration Number 3893025