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RCP responds to the latest NHS performance data

The president of the Royal College of Physicians has responded to the latest NHS performance data. 

Dr Sarah Clarke, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: 

“We have seen the capacity of the health and care system often stretched beyond its limits in 2023. As we have entered the winter months, and demand for services has increased, there are few opportunities to increase capacity. While there were fewer patients with flu in general and acute beds in the last week of December 2023 compared to the same time in 2022, bed occupancy rates remain high. With rates of flu and covid expected to rise over the coming cold weeks, and over half of patients ready for discharge in December 2023 remaining in hospital, this must be urgently addressed as it prevents patients with urgent needs getting access to the care they need.

“Thanks to the efforts of NHS staff, more than 1.63 million treatments were delivered in November 2023 and diagnostic test activity reached an all-time high. Yet the overall waiting list in England, despite a slight fall, was still the fifth highest on record, and the waiting list for diagnostic tests and procedures grew to the highest figure since March 2023. The challenges staff face remain significant.”