Tag Archives: England

NHS England workforce planning ‘not fit for purpose’, says report

NHS England’s workforce planning is “not fit for purpose”, according to a report that found a high turnover of staff was hurting the health service financially and reducing continuity of care.

The Health Foundation found the number of nurses and GPs had fallen at a time when the NHS was struggling to cope with growing demand, although a rise in managers and consultants contributed to an overall increase in the NHS workforce by 2% in the year to April.

In Rising Pressure: the NHS workforce challenge, the charity says that almost a third of staff are leaving some trust each year. This left management fighting and spending huge amounts of money “just to stand still”, it adds.

Anita Charlesworth, the foundation’s director of research and economics, said: “There is a growing gap between rhetoric about the government’s ambitions to grow the NHS workforce and the reality of falling numbers of nurses and GPs.

“This year has been characterised by a series of one-off announcements and initiatives, beset by unrealistic timescales and no overall strategy.

“The challenges and risks ahead for the NHS are well known, and must be met by collective action led by the government to put in place a coherent strategy to provide a sustainable workforce for the NHS.”

The charity found that the number of nurses declined by 0.2% in the year to April, while the number of GPs fell by 0.7% from December to the end of June.

The report casts doubt on the government’s ability to meet a number of targets, including increasing the number of GPs by 5,000 and creating 21,000 new mental health posts by 2020.

The fall in the number of nurses was found to be most notable in community nursing and mental health. The Health Foundation also found 1,220 fewer students from England had started undergraduate nursing degrees this year, which it blamed partly on the switch from bursaries to loans for training.

Just 38 GPs were recruited from overseas in the first six months of this year, despite the government aiming to recruit 2,000 to 3,000 foreign family doctors over the next three years, the foundation found.

Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of NHS Employers, said more needed to be done to improve staff retention and that uncertainty over the future of EU staff post-Brexit had made the uncertainty worse.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “Patients can be assured that the NHS has the staff it needs to provide the best possible care — over 12,700 more doctors, 10,600 more nurses on our wards and over 5,600 fewer managers and senior managers since May 2010.

“We have a clear plan to ensure the NHS remains a rewarding and attractive place to work, including more flexible working for nurses and greater safeguards for junior doctors, alongside an historic 25% increase in undergraduate medical school and nurse training places.”

The NHS pay cap has been highlighed as contributing factor in staff leaving the health service. In a separate report, also published on Monday, the Institute of Public Policy says lifting the cap would be about half the headline cost of £1.8bn a year by 2019-20.

The thinktank’s analysis identified the real cost as £950m, after taking into account money immediately returned to the Treasury through higher tax receipts and lower welfare payments plus the impact of additional GDP generated.

It found that a “catch-up” scenario of increasing NHS pay in line with private sector earnings plus 1% would have a headline cost of £3.9bn by 2019-20, but a net cost to the Treasury of £2.1bn. The analysis was welcomed by NHS Providers and the Royal College of Nursing, which both urged the chancellor to act on it in his budget next month.

A Treasury spokesman said: “We have already confirmed that the across-the-board 1% public sector pay policy will no longer apply. The independent pay review process is now underway for NHS staff and will report in spring 2018.”

NHS England workforce planning ‘not fit for purpose’, says report

NHS England’s workforce planning is “not fit for purpose”, according to a report that found a high turnover of staff was hurting the health service financially and reducing continuity of care.

The Health Foundation found the number of nurses and GPs had fallen at a time when the NHS was struggling to cope with growing demand, although a rise in managers and consultants contributed to an overall increase in the NHS workforce by 2% in the year to April.

In Rising Pressure: the NHS workforce challenge, the charity says that almost a third of staff are leaving some trust each year. This left management fighting and spending huge amounts of money “just to stand still”, it adds.

Anita Charlesworth, the foundation’s director of research and economics, said: “There is a growing gap between rhetoric about the government’s ambitions to grow the NHS workforce and the reality of falling numbers of nurses and GPs.

“This year has been characterised by a series of one-off announcements and initiatives, beset by unrealistic timescales and no overall strategy.

“The challenges and risks ahead for the NHS are well known, and must be met by collective action led by the government to put in place a coherent strategy to provide a sustainable workforce for the NHS.”

The charity found that the number of nurses declined by 0.2% in the year to April, while the number of GPs fell by 0.7% from December to the end of June.

The report casts doubt on the government’s ability to meet a number of targets, including increasing the number of GPs by 5,000 and creating 21,000 new mental health posts by 2020.

The fall in the number of nurses was found to be most notable in community nursing and mental health. The Health Foundation also found 1,220 fewer students from England had started undergraduate nursing degrees this year, which it blamed partly on the switch from bursaries to loans for training.

Just 38 GPs were recruited from overseas in the first six months of this year, despite the government aiming to recruit 2,000 to 3,000 foreign family doctors over the next three years, the foundation found.

Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of NHS Employers, said more needed to be done to improve staff retention and that uncertainty over the future of EU staff post-Brexit had made the uncertainty worse.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “Patients can be assured that the NHS has the staff it needs to provide the best possible care — over 12,700 more doctors, 10,600 more nurses on our wards and over 5,600 fewer managers and senior managers since May 2010.

“We have a clear plan to ensure the NHS remains a rewarding and attractive place to work, including more flexible working for nurses and greater safeguards for junior doctors, alongside an historic 25% increase in undergraduate medical school and nurse training places.”

The NHS pay cap has been highlighed as contributing factor in staff leaving the health service. In a separate report, also published on Monday, the Institute of Public Policy says lifting the cap would be about half the headline cost of £1.8bn a year by 2019-20.

The thinktank’s analysis identified the real cost as £950m, after taking into account money immediately returned to the Treasury through higher tax receipts and lower welfare payments plus the impact of additional GDP generated.

It found that a “catch-up” scenario of increasing NHS pay in line with private sector earnings plus 1% would have a headline cost of £3.9bn by 2019-20, but a net cost to the Treasury of £2.1bn. The analysis was welcomed by NHS Providers and the Royal College of Nursing, which both urged the chancellor to act on it in his budget next month.

A Treasury spokesman said: “We have already confirmed that the across-the-board 1% public sector pay policy will no longer apply. The independent pay review process is now underway for NHS staff and will report in spring 2018.”

Sharp rise in number of children admitted to intensive care in England

The number of children admitted to intensive care in England has risen sharply since 2009, putting additional pressure on already overstretched health services, researchers have warned.

A study of admissions to paediatric intensive care units in England found a nearly 15% increase from 2004 to 2013, with a larger than expected rise against population growth from 2009 onwards. In Wales there was a more than 2% rise over the period studied.

But the authors of the research said it was unclear what is behind the surge in numbers. However, they noted that migration and better survival rates for those born prematurely could be a factor.

The spike seen from 2009 onwards also correlates with cuts to public healthcare spending, the researchers say. “From 2004 to 2009, public healthcare spending in the UK increased by 8.3% per annum; however from 2009 onwards, it grew at just 1.9%,” they write.

Admission rates were higher in areas of England with high numbers of mothers born outside the UK, particularly those from eastern Europe. This includes the South Central region, for example, where there was a 43% rise over the period studied, and London, which saw an increase of nearly 31%.

“We wanted to investigate why there was a rise in admissions and to see if it was due to an increased birth rate or other factors. Following analysis, only a proportion of the rise was due to birth rate; we think the additional increase over what would be expected could possibly be due partly to migration into England, and the problems associated with newly-migrated populations into a new country,” said one of the authors, Prof Elizabeth Draper of the University of Leicester.

She added: “Another factor is that increasing numbers of critically ill children are surviving pre-term birth and other major illness who may not have survived in the past.”

Dr Peter Davis, consultant in paediatric intensive care at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, said: “What is changing is probably the nature of and type of patients admitted. They tend to have conditions that are more complex and chronic. That won’t change, as parental expectations now are that there should be more done for children than in the past. People are offered all sorts of treatment and packages and surviving longer.”

Writing in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, Draper and colleagues said that whatever the reason for the rise, it looks set to continue. “Increasing numbers of critically ill children requiring paediatric intensive care in England and Wales will prove challenging both for [these] services and commissioners, as increased demand potentially outstrips resource,” they conclude.

Researchers at the University of Leicester and the paediatric intensive care unit at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children analysed admissions data from the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network along with population data, including births, comparing predicted admission numbers with the actual figures.

The paper found admission rates were slightly higher among boys than girls and were also higher among children of South Asian ethnicity.

The steepest rises were among younger children up to the age of five and those with breathing or cardiovascular problems. Infants under one made up almost half the total annual admissions.

Davis said: “NHS England has a review ongoing at the moment looking at what they are doing in paediatric intensive care and paediatric surgical care. Within that they are looking at issues of where children are cared for.”

“We need to look at investing into making sure that we have we got the right number of beds in the right places to support these children. We know in winter intensive care beds get very tight … The concern within the profession is whether the review will mean more investment or just the same funding distributed differently.”

Sharp rise in number of children admitted to intensive care in England

The number of children admitted to intensive care in England has risen sharply since 2009, putting additional pressure on already overstretched health services, researchers have warned.

A study of admissions to paediatric intensive care units in England found a nearly 15% increase from 2004 to 2013, with a larger than expected rise against population growth from 2009 onwards. In Wales there was a more than 2% rise over the period studied.

But the authors of the research said it was unclear what is behind the surge in numbers. However, they noted that migration and better survival rates for those born prematurely could be a factor.

The spike seen from 2009 onwards also correlates with cuts to public healthcare spending, the researchers say. “From 2004 to 2009, public healthcare spending in the UK increased by 8.3% per annum; however from 2009 onwards, it grew at just 1.9%,” they write.

Admission rates were higher in areas of England with high numbers of mothers born outside the UK, particularly those from eastern Europe. This includes the South Central region, for example, where there was a 43% rise over the period studied, and London, which saw an increase of nearly 31%.

“We wanted to investigate why there was a rise in admissions and to see if it was due to an increased birth rate or other factors. Following analysis, only a proportion of the rise was due to birth rate; we think the additional increase over what would be expected could possibly be due partly to migration into England, and the problems associated with newly-migrated populations into a new country,” said one of the authors, Prof Elizabeth Draper of the University of Leicester.

She added: “Another factor is that increasing numbers of critically ill children are surviving pre-term birth and other major illness who may not have survived in the past.”

Dr Peter Davis, consultant in paediatric intensive care at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, said: “What is changing is probably the nature of and type of patients admitted. They tend to have conditions that are more complex and chronic. That won’t change, as parental expectations now are that there should be more done for children than in the past. People are offered all sorts of treatment and packages and surviving longer.”

Writing in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, Draper and colleagues said that whatever the reason for the rise, it looks set to continue. “Increasing numbers of critically ill children requiring paediatric intensive care in England and Wales will prove challenging both for [these] services and commissioners, as increased demand potentially outstrips resource,” they conclude.

Researchers at the University of Leicester and the paediatric intensive care unit at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children analysed admissions data from the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network along with population data, including births, comparing predicted admission numbers with the actual figures.

The paper found admission rates were slightly higher among boys than girls and were also higher among children of South Asian ethnicity.

The steepest rises were among younger children up to the age of five and those with breathing or cardiovascular problems. Infants under one made up almost half the total annual admissions.

Davis said: “NHS England has a review ongoing at the moment looking at what they are doing in paediatric intensive care and paediatric surgical care. Within that they are looking at issues of where children are cared for.”

“We need to look at investing into making sure that we have we got the right number of beds in the right places to support these children. We know in winter intensive care beds get very tight … The concern within the profession is whether the review will mean more investment or just the same funding distributed differently.”

Sharp rise in number of children admitted to intensive care in England

The number of children admitted to intensive care in England has risen sharply since 2009, putting additional pressure on already overstretched health services, researchers have warned.

A study of admissions to paediatric intensive care units in England found a nearly 15% increase from 2004 to 2013, with a larger than expected rise against population growth from 2009 onwards. In Wales there was a more than 2% rise over the period studied.

But the authors of the research said it was unclear what is behind the surge in numbers. However, they noted that migration and better survival rates for those born prematurely could be a factor.

The spike seen from 2009 onwards also correlates with cuts to public healthcare spending, the researchers say. “From 2004 to 2009, public healthcare spending in the UK increased by 8.3% per annum; however from 2009 onwards, it grew at just 1.9%,” they write.

Admission rates were higher in areas of England with high numbers of mothers born outside the UK, particularly those from eastern Europe. This includes the South Central region, for example, where there was a 43% rise over the period studied, and London, which saw an increase of nearly 31%.

“We wanted to investigate why there was a rise in admissions and to see if it was due to an increased birth rate or other factors. Following analysis, only a proportion of the rise was due to birth rate; we think the additional increase over what would be expected could possibly be due partly to migration into England, and the problems associated with newly-migrated populations into a new country,” said one of the authors, Prof Elizabeth Draper of the University of Leicester.

She added: “Another factor is that increasing numbers of critically ill children are surviving pre-term birth and other major illness who may not have survived in the past.”

Dr Peter Davis, consultant in paediatric intensive care at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, said: “What is changing is probably the nature of and type of patients admitted. They tend to have conditions that are more complex and chronic. That won’t change, as parental expectations now are that there should be more done for children than in the past. People are offered all sorts of treatment and packages and surviving longer.”

Writing in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, Draper and colleagues said that whatever the reason for the rise, it looks set to continue. “Increasing numbers of critically ill children requiring paediatric intensive care in England and Wales will prove challenging both for [these] services and commissioners, as increased demand potentially outstrips resource,” they conclude.

Researchers at the University of Leicester and the paediatric intensive care unit at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children analysed admissions data from the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network along with population data, including births, comparing predicted admission numbers with the actual figures.

The paper found admission rates were slightly higher among boys than girls and were also higher among children of South Asian ethnicity.

The steepest rises were among younger children up to the age of five and those with breathing or cardiovascular problems. Infants under one made up almost half the total annual admissions.

Davis said: “NHS England has a review ongoing at the moment looking at what they are doing in paediatric intensive care and paediatric surgical care. Within that they are looking at issues of where children are cared for.”

“We need to look at investing into making sure that we have we got the right number of beds in the right places to support these children. We know in winter intensive care beds get very tight … The concern within the profession is whether the review will mean more investment or just the same funding distributed differently.”

Sharp rise in number of children admitted to intensive care in England

The number of children admitted to intensive care in England has risen sharply since 2009, putting additional pressure on already overstretched health services, researchers have warned.

A study of admissions to paediatric intensive care units in England found a nearly 15% increase from 2004 to 2013, with a larger than expected rise against population growth from 2009 onwards. In Wales there was a more than 2% rise over the period studied.

But the authors of the research said it was unclear what is behind the surge in numbers. However, they noted that migration and better survival rates for those born prematurely could be a factor.

The spike seen from 2009 onwards also correlates with cuts to public healthcare spending, the researchers say. “From 2004 to 2009, public healthcare spending in the UK increased by 8.3% per annum; however from 2009 onwards, it grew at just 1.9%,” they write.

Admission rates were higher in areas of England with high numbers of mothers born outside the UK, particularly those from eastern Europe. This includes the South Central region, for example, where there was a 43% rise over the period studied, and London, which saw an increase of nearly 31%.

“We wanted to investigate why there was a rise in admissions and to see if it was due to an increased birth rate or other factors. Following analysis, only a proportion of the rise was due to birth rate; we think the additional increase over what would be expected could possibly be due partly to migration into England, and the problems associated with newly-migrated populations into a new country,” said one of the authors, Prof Elizabeth Draper of the University of Leicester.

She added: “Another factor is that increasing numbers of critically ill children are surviving pre-term birth and other major illness who may not have survived in the past.”

Dr Peter Davis, consultant in paediatric intensive care at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, said: “What is changing is probably the nature of and type of patients admitted. They tend to have conditions that are more complex and chronic. That won’t change, as parental expectations now are that there should be more done for children than in the past. People are offered all sorts of treatment and packages and surviving longer.”

Writing in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, Draper and colleagues said that whatever the reason for the rise, it looks set to continue. “Increasing numbers of critically ill children requiring paediatric intensive care in England and Wales will prove challenging both for [these] services and commissioners, as increased demand potentially outstrips resource,” they conclude.

Researchers at the University of Leicester and the paediatric intensive care unit at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children analysed admissions data from the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network along with population data, including births, comparing predicted admission numbers with the actual figures.

The paper found admission rates were slightly higher among boys than girls and were also higher among children of South Asian ethnicity.

The steepest rises were among younger children up to the age of five and those with breathing or cardiovascular problems. Infants under one made up almost half the total annual admissions.

Davis said: “NHS England has a review ongoing at the moment looking at what they are doing in paediatric intensive care and paediatric surgical care. Within that they are looking at issues of where children are cared for.”

“We need to look at investing into making sure that we have we got the right number of beds in the right places to support these children. We know in winter intensive care beds get very tight … The concern within the profession is whether the review will mean more investment or just the same funding distributed differently.”

Sharp rise in number of children admitted to intensive care in England

The number of children admitted to intensive care in England has risen sharply since 2009, putting additional pressure on already overstretched health services, researchers have warned.

A study of admissions to paediatric intensive care units in England found a nearly 15% increase from 2004 to 2013, with a larger than expected rise against population growth from 2009 onwards. In Wales there was a more than 2% rise over the period studied.

But the authors of the research said it was unclear what is behind the surge in numbers. However, they noted that migration and better survival rates for those born prematurely could be a factor.

The spike seen from 2009 onwards also correlates with cuts to public healthcare spending, the researchers say. “From 2004 to 2009, public healthcare spending in the UK increased by 8.3% per annum; however from 2009 onwards, it grew at just 1.9%,” they write.

Admission rates were higher in areas of England with high numbers of mothers born outside the UK, particularly those from eastern Europe. This includes the South Central region, for example, where there was a 43% rise over the period studied, and London, which saw an increase of nearly 31%.

“We wanted to investigate why there was a rise in admissions and to see if it was due to an increased birth rate or other factors. Following analysis, only a proportion of the rise was due to birth rate; we think the additional increase over what would be expected could possibly be due partly to migration into England, and the problems associated with newly-migrated populations into a new country,” said one of the authors, Prof Elizabeth Draper of the University of Leicester.

She added: “Another factor is that increasing numbers of critically ill children are surviving pre-term birth and other major illness who may not have survived in the past.”

Dr Peter Davis, consultant in paediatric intensive care at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, said: “What is changing is probably the nature of and type of patients admitted. They tend to have conditions that are more complex and chronic. That won’t change, as parental expectations now are that there should be more done for children than in the past. People are offered all sorts of treatment and packages and surviving longer.”

Writing in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, Draper and colleagues said that whatever the reason for the rise, it looks set to continue. “Increasing numbers of critically ill children requiring paediatric intensive care in England and Wales will prove challenging both for [these] services and commissioners, as increased demand potentially outstrips resource,” they conclude.

Researchers at the University of Leicester and the paediatric intensive care unit at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children analysed admissions data from the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network along with population data, including births, comparing predicted admission numbers with the actual figures.

The paper found admission rates were slightly higher among boys than girls and were also higher among children of South Asian ethnicity.

The steepest rises were among younger children up to the age of five and those with breathing or cardiovascular problems. Infants under one made up almost half the total annual admissions.

Davis said: “NHS England has a review ongoing at the moment looking at what they are doing in paediatric intensive care and paediatric surgical care. Within that they are looking at issues of where children are cared for.”

“We need to look at investing into making sure that we have we got the right number of beds in the right places to support these children. We know in winter intensive care beds get very tight … The concern within the profession is whether the review will mean more investment or just the same funding distributed differently.”

Sharp rise in number of children admitted to intensive care in England

The number of children admitted to intensive care in England has risen sharply since 2009, putting additional pressure on already overstretched health services, researchers have warned.

A study of admissions to paediatric intensive care units in England found a nearly 15% increase from 2004 to 2013, with a larger than expected rise against population growth from 2009 onwards. In Wales there was a more than 2% rise over the period studied.

But the authors of the research said it was unclear what is behind the surge in numbers. However, they noted that migration and better survival rates for those born prematurely could be a factor.

The spike seen from 2009 onwards also correlates with cuts to public healthcare spending, the researchers say. “From 2004 to 2009, public healthcare spending in the UK increased by 8.3% per annum; however from 2009 onwards, it grew at just 1.9%,” they write.

Admission rates were higher in areas of England with high numbers of mothers born outside the UK, particularly those from eastern Europe. This includes the South Central region, for example, where there was a 43% rise over the period studied, and London, which saw an increase of nearly 31%.

“We wanted to investigate why there was a rise in admissions and to see if it was due to an increased birth rate or other factors. Following analysis, only a proportion of the rise was due to birth rate; we think the additional increase over what would be expected could possibly be due partly to migration into England, and the problems associated with newly-migrated populations into a new country,” said one of the authors, Prof Elizabeth Draper of the University of Leicester.

She added: “Another factor is that increasing numbers of critically ill children are surviving pre-term birth and other major illness who may not have survived in the past.”

Dr Peter Davis, consultant in paediatric intensive care at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, said: “What is changing is probably the nature of and type of patients admitted. They tend to have conditions that are more complex and chronic. That won’t change, as parental expectations now are that there should be more done for children than in the past. People are offered all sorts of treatment and packages and surviving longer.”

Writing in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, Draper and colleagues said that whatever the reason for the rise, it looks set to continue. “Increasing numbers of critically ill children requiring paediatric intensive care in England and Wales will prove challenging both for [these] services and commissioners, as increased demand potentially outstrips resource,” they conclude.

Researchers at the University of Leicester and the paediatric intensive care unit at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children analysed admissions data from the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network along with population data, including births, comparing predicted admission numbers with the actual figures.

The paper found admission rates were slightly higher among boys than girls and were also higher among children of South Asian ethnicity.

The steepest rises were among younger children up to the age of five and those with breathing or cardiovascular problems. Infants under one made up almost half the total annual admissions.

Davis said: “NHS England has a review ongoing at the moment looking at what they are doing in paediatric intensive care and paediatric surgical care. Within that they are looking at issues of where children are cared for.”

“We need to look at investing into making sure that we have we got the right number of beds in the right places to support these children. We know in winter intensive care beds get very tight … The concern within the profession is whether the review will mean more investment or just the same funding distributed differently.”

Sharp rise in number of children admitted to intensive care in England

The number of children admitted to intensive care in England has risen sharply since 2009, putting additional pressure on already overstretched health services, researchers have warned.

A study of admissions to paediatric intensive care units in England found a nearly 15% increase from 2004 to 2013, with a larger than expected rise against population growth from 2009 onwards. In Wales there was a more than 2% rise over the period studied.

But the authors of the research said it was unclear what is behind the surge in numbers. However, they noted that migration and better survival rates for those born prematurely could be a factor.

The spike seen from 2009 onwards also correlates with cuts to public healthcare spending, the researchers say. “From 2004 to 2009, public healthcare spending in the UK increased by 8.3% per annum; however from 2009 onwards, it grew at just 1.9%,” they write.

Admission rates were higher in areas of England with high numbers of mothers born outside the UK, particularly those from eastern Europe. This includes the South Central region, for example, where there was a 43% rise over the period studied, and London, which saw an increase of nearly 31%.

“We wanted to investigate why there was a rise in admissions and to see if it was due to an increased birth rate or other factors. Following analysis, only a proportion of the rise was due to birth rate; we think the additional increase over what would be expected could possibly be due partly to migration into England, and the problems associated with newly-migrated populations into a new country,” said one of the authors, Prof Elizabeth Draper of the University of Leicester.

She added: “Another factor is that increasing numbers of critically ill children are surviving pre-term birth and other major illness who may not have survived in the past.”

Dr Peter Davis, consultant in paediatric intensive care at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, said: “What is changing is probably the nature of and type of patients admitted. They tend to have conditions that are more complex and chronic. That won’t change, as parental expectations now are that there should be more done for children than in the past. People are offered all sorts of treatment and packages and surviving longer.”

Writing in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, Draper and colleagues said that whatever the reason for the rise, it looks set to continue. “Increasing numbers of critically ill children requiring paediatric intensive care in England and Wales will prove challenging both for [these] services and commissioners, as increased demand potentially outstrips resource,” they conclude.

Researchers at the University of Leicester and the paediatric intensive care unit at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children analysed admissions data from the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network along with population data, including births, comparing predicted admission numbers with the actual figures.

The paper found admission rates were slightly higher among boys than girls and were also higher among children of South Asian ethnicity.

The steepest rises were among younger children up to the age of five and those with breathing or cardiovascular problems. Infants under one made up almost half the total annual admissions.

Davis said: “NHS England has a review ongoing at the moment looking at what they are doing in paediatric intensive care and paediatric surgical care. Within that they are looking at issues of where children are cared for.”

“We need to look at investing into making sure that we have we got the right number of beds in the right places to support these children. We know in winter intensive care beds get very tight … The concern within the profession is whether the review will mean more investment or just the same funding distributed differently.”

NHS operating theatres in England ‘wasting two hours a day’

About 280,000 additional non-emergency operations could be carried out each year if NHS schedules were better organised, a study has reportedly said.

An analysis of operating theatres across 100 NHS trusts in England found more than two hours a day were wasted on the average procedure list.

The study by NHS Improvement says time was lost on avoidable factors such as late starts for operations that had been planned in advance, the BBC reported.

A total of 1.64m routine operations were carried out in 2016, the period analysed by the watchdog. They included surgical procedures on the ear, nose and throat, eye operations and orthopaedic medicine.

The study, to be published on Tuesday morning, reportedly says improvements could be made through more effective planning, reducing late starts and early finishes rather than making surgeons work harder.

Richard Kerr of the Royal College of Surgeons told the BBC: “I think the NHS can always be more efficient and I think people have worked very hard to try to make it more efficient, but I don’t think those savings are going to resolve the ever-increasing demand that is being put on the health service.”

NHS Improvement researchers did not include operation lists that were cancelled or any unused time that was less than average for a surgeon. The study also allowed for 5% of time to be lost due to last-minute cancellations.