NHS report reveals sharp rise in waiting times for care Quarterly performance figures from the NHS p
There has been a sharp rise in the number of patients who have waited more than a year for NHS care in England, according to a new report.
The latest quarterly performance figures of the NHS provider sector show more than 2,600 people have waited over a year for treatment.
The figures from NHS Improvement also reveal half of the nation's "best performing" A&E departments are unable to meet waiting time standards.
The NHS Mandate states that 95% of patients attending A&E should be seen within four hours.
But only five A&E departments managed to meet the 95% target during January, February and March, and half of the 10 "best performing" units didn't even meet the four hour target.
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More than five million people attended A&E during January, February and March - which led to more than 1.1 million hospital admissions.
Meanwhile, the NHS provider sector ended the financial year with a deficit of £960m - £464m more than the target set for the year.
The report also highlights that NHS providers in England did not meet targets for diagnostic tests, referral to treatment times and some cancer care targets.
The document, which covers the "most challenging winter periods that the NHS has had", shows that at the end of March 2018, 2,647 patients were waiting over a year for treatment compared to 1,513 the previous year.
It also is a "large increase" from the 2,179 waiting in February 2018, the report says.
The report also highlights that the NHS provider sector ended the year with a "challenging level of vacancies" of more than 92,000 posts.
But NHS Improvement argued that the figures show NHS staff displayed "incredible resilience" in meeting demand during a "challenging year for the NHS".
It said that the NHS as a whole has "broadly achieved financial balance for the year" after NHS England provisionally reported that it had managed a £955m underspend for the commissioning of healthcare services in 2017/18.
Ian Dalton, chief executive of NHS Improvement, said: "Hundreds of thousands more patients have been to A&Es this year but the NHS did not buckle under the pressure.
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"Despite epic challenges, NHS staff up and down the country displayed incredible resilience and saw more patients than ever before within four hours," he said.
"More than two thirds of providers ended the year on budget or better than planned. Given rising demand and record vacancies, this is an important achievement."
Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, warned that Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond "cannot allow this financial knife-edge to continue", adding that the health service needs "genuinely new money".