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Pressure on NHS hospitals is “spreading beyond emergency departments,” King’s Fund warns

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h388 (Published 22 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h388
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1The BMJ

Capacity problems in NHS hospitals are spreading beyond emergency departments to other key areas of performance, a leading healthcare think tank has warned.

The King’s Fund’s latest monitoring report1 noted increased inpatient and outpatient waiting times, delayed discharges, and cancelled operations in the period from October to December 2014.

Taken together with the pressures on emergency units this winter,2 the fund’s chief economist, John Appleby, said that the situation was now “critical” as the service grappled with increasing demand and an unprecedented financial squeeze.

The fund’s latest report showed that the proportion of patients waiting for inpatient treatment for longer than 18 weeks rose to 12.5% …

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