NHS Providers report ‘Recovery position and what next for the NHS’

Posted : July 3, 2020 - /

NHS Providers published a report earlier this week looking at ‘Recovery position and what next for the NHS’, based on surveying 158 Trust Chairs and Chief Executives. The 4 key points identified are below and I think very pertinent in terms of Demand & Capacity and framing the summer series of webinars. Whilst this is obviously only one view of the current situation there are some clear indications about timelines for recovery, use of video consultations, increasing demand and reduction in capacity.

The briefing summary is here:


The full report is here:


  1. Trusts are facing significantly increased demand
    54% of trust leaders report increased demand for more urgent or crisis care and/or severe and late presentations/contacts from patients. This is exacerbated by patients not seeking treatment in a timely way – 80% report fewer non COVID patients sought care in the previous month [survey conducted 21 May – 31 May]. 89% believe there is now an increased backlog of people waiting for care.
  2. Trusts are facing major capacity constraints and uncertainties in trying to restart services
    92% of leaders believe physical and social distancing, required for effective infection control, reduces available capacity. 92% are concerned about staff wellbeing, stress and burnout following the pandemic. 80% believe there is an unpredictable level of COVID-19 demand. 57% believe there is insufficient testing capacity and 53% believe there is insufficient PPE supply to fully restart services. When looking at their current level of capacity, trusts estimated on average that they are currently running at just over 50% capacity for non-COVID services. On average, they anticipate that their capacity will rise to 70% within three months, and over 80% in six to 12 months.
  3. Trusts are doing all they can to restart services as quickly as possible
    86% of trusts have increased capacity for remote services like video consultations. 78% have reconfigured their workforce to speed up the resumption of services. 57% are using independent sector capacity to increase the flow of patient treatment. 46% have formed new partnerships with other trusts to maximise available treatment capacity.
  4. However, the combination of significantly increased demand and significantly reduced capacity means services will take significant time to resume, particularly in acute hospitals
    Only 7% of trusts say they are immediately ready to meet the needs of all patients and service users. 22% say it will take them three to six months to be ready; 14% say it will take them six to 12 months. There is a clear difference between mental health (82%), ambulance (80%) and community (67%) trusts’ readiness to resume services within six months compared to hospital trusts (39%).