Cracks 'beginning to appear' in NHS28th November 2012
A mid-term report for the coalition government authored by the King's Fund has warned that "cracks are beginning to appear" in the health service in England.
The think tank's review brought up worries about A&E waiting times and financial issues.
However, it said that "overall performance was holding up well".
After an analysis of information relating to performance, it found the NHS was making improvements in some areas such as infection control and scrapping mixed-sex wards.
However, it said there were "treacherous waters ahead" for the health service.
The think tank warned the pressure on the NHS to save 5% every year was already causing problems.
The report showed A&E waiting times had increased since 2009, even though they had stayed within the target of 95% of people treated within four hours.
It also said more NHS trusts were facing financial problems and higher numbers of elderly people required emergency treatment.
King's Fund policy director Anna Dixon said: "There are huge risks, particularly in ensuring that quality of care does not suffer with the further financial squeeze."
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said there was evidence that care was being affected, with services such as cataract surgery "being rationed".
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Title: Cracks 'beginning to appear' in NHS
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 23260
Date Added: 28th Nov 2012