NHS providers, representing every hospital, mental health, community and ambulance service in England, says that its annual survey shows a much higher level of concern about the coming winter than ever before.
172 board level trust leaders from 114 trusts responded to the survey and the results revealed that:
87% said they are extremely concerned about the impact of winter on their trust and local area. When asked the same question last year, the figure was 56%, ahead of what proved to be one of the toughest winters in the history of the NHS.
84% are worried or very worried about their trusts having the capacity to meet demand for services.
85% are worried or very worried that insufficient investment was being made in social care in their area.
94% are moderately or extremely concerned about staff burnout.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said, "The message from trust leaders is loud and clear: judging by the pressure the NHS is currently under, the service is heading for the most difficult winter in its history.