NHS patients waiting for hospital care top 4m for first time in a decade

‘Critics likely to claim breaching of 4 million barrier is proof government is doing too little to help England’s hospitals.

More than 4 million patients are waiting to be admitted to hospital in England to have surgery, the highest number in 10 years, the latest official NHS performance statistics reveal.

Hospital bosses said the figure, and a series of missed performance targets on A&E and cancer care, showed that the health service was now unsustainable. Shortages of money, staff and care outside hospitals to keep patients well meant that it could not cope with an ongoing and unprecedented rise in demand, they said.

“The current system is unsustainable. We simply do not have the resources to deliver what the public now expects,” said Danny Mortimer, the deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation.’

Read more: NHS patients waiting for hospital care top 4m for first time in a decade