Busiest November on record for NHS staff

NHS staff answered the highest number of 999 calls for any November on record, an average of around one every three seconds, new figures revealed today.

Last month was also the second busiest November on record for A&E with more than two million patients seen at emergency departments and urgent treatment centres. That was up by half a million on the same time last year.

Demand for NHS 111 services also remained high, with almost 1.4 million calls answered during November, the latest available figures show.

Hardworking NHS staff are continuing to make progress on elective activity with almost 150,000 more people starting elective treatment in October compared to the same month last year.

Patients on the waiting list are prioritised based on their need and at the end of October were waiting an average of 12 weeks to begin treatment, compared to a high of 19.6 weeks on average in July last year.

The data comes as cases of Omicron increase throughout the country and the NHS is urging the public to get their booster when invited.

New weekly data published for the first time this winter, also shows that, on average, there were 10,500 patients each day last week who no longer needed to be in hospital but were not discharged that day, with pressures outside hospitals also high.

This means that more than one in 10 beds were occupied by patients who were medically fit to leave.

NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “These figures show that NHS staff are continuing to address the Covid backlog in the face of sustained pressure on urgent and emergency care.

“As we head into a very challenging winter, we are working with partners in social care to get as many patients who are fit to do so home for Christmas, which is right for them and their families as well as freeing up beds.

“There is much we do not know about Omicron but experts advise that vaccines will still help in our fight against the virus.

“Thanks to the efforts of staff and volunteers the NHS Covid vaccination programme has delivered more than 100 million jabs, so do come forward when it is your turn.”

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