• Delayed transfers of care reach highest level with 196,246 delayed days in September
  • NHS England figures show demand up and performance in most areas down
  • NHS Providers warn demands “only likely to increase as we move into winter”

Delayed transfers of care have continued to worsen and have almost hit 200,000 delayed days in a month, new figures shows.

According to performance statistics for September, released on Thursday, 196,246 delayed days occurred in the month compared to 188,340 in August – previously the highest level since monthly data started being collected six years ago.

The NHS England figures show a continued increase in demand and a deterioration of performance in most areas.

Accident and emergency attendances were 4.9 per cent higher than in September 2015, and emergency admissions were 2.6 per cent higher than the previous year.

In September 90.6 per cent of patients were admitted, transferred or discharged from A&E within four hours of arrival, against a target of 95 per cent.

The performance was marginally down on the 91 per cent achieved in August.

It was a similar picture for planned care, with 90.6 per of patients waiting to start treatment at the end of September – below the 92 per cent target and a deterioration on August’s figure of 90.9 per cent.

For ambulances, 68.3 per cent of the highest priority “red one” calls were responded to within eight minutes. This was down on the 70 per cent achieved in August and below the target of 75 per cent.

Matthew Swindells, NHS England’s national director for operations and Information, said September continued a “pattern of ongoing increases in the care being provided by the NHS, with little respite over the summer”.

NHS Providers’ head of analysis, Siva Anandaciva, said the record delayed transfers of care were “particularly worrying” and a sign of a health and social care system “under tremendous stress”.

“NHS providers are performing commendably, but the demands they face are only likely to increase as we move into winter and the most challenging period for NHS services,” he said.

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