In response to the NHS Digital Monthly Combined Performance Summary for December 2016, Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, the older people’s charity, said:

“These figures give a clear picture of a health and social care system that is struggling to cope and bursting at the seams. We are seeing increases in the numbers of people calling an ambulance or attending A&E. Demand for elective treatment is also up, with more people undergoing both diagnostic testing and elective surgery. Meanwhile, the number of people in hospital awaiting a care package remains significantly higher than in previous years. With an ageing population, this demand for services is only going to increase. The Prime Minister must address this urgently and convene cross-party talks on a long-term solution on health and care funding, to ensure we have a system that is fit for purpose for those who need it.”

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