A new report by the Public Accounts Committee has criticised NHS England’s recovery programme for its ‘over-optimism’ and highlights a need for improved workforce planning – particularly around social care. CSJ provides an overview of the key findings and recommendations.
In a recent report, the Public Accounts Committee warned that cancer waiting times are at their worst recorded level and NHS England will not meet its first cancer recovery target. Though the first target for elective care was to eliminate two-year waits by July 2022, in August 2022, there were 2,600 patients who had been waiting more than two years, and a record 7 million people on waiting lists in total.
The Committee said that NHS England made unrealistic assumptions about the first year of recovery, including that there would be low levels of COVID-19 and minimal adverse effects from winter pressures. The Committee expressed serious doubts that the wider NHS recovery plan will be achieved on time.
It added that the NHS is still not planning properly for the staffing and other resources it needs to deliver additional diagnostic and treatment capacity, though much of it was already needed before the COVID-19 pandemic.
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