NHS review of winter 2017/18

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We've reviewed NHS performance during the 2017/18 winter period to help better understand the issues and pressure the service dealt with on a daily basis, and to contribute to planning for the 2018/19 winter period.

The main findings

  • 2017/18 saw the worst flu outbreak since 2010/11
  • the most challenging days for A&E were immediately after Christmas and New Year and after the intense cold snap in late February and early March

Compared to the previous year

  • 400,000 more people called NHS 111
  • 290,000 more people attended A&E departments 
  • 100,000 more people were admitted to hospital as an emergency 
  • every day during winter, over 55,000 people were seen in A&E and admitted or discharged within four hours

The review and accompanying annex gives providers and organisations supporting them detailed information about the impact of the extra demands that was placed on the service. It is an extra resource to supplement materials that have already been issued to the service, including a guide to reducing long hospital stays.

Resources used during last winter including the Red 2 Green improvement tool and the Emergency patient flow tool remain important elements of winter planning.

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