FINALLY, NHS staff can believe that the winter pressures are over for another year, but their work has been recognised by Tenbury MP Harriett Baldwin.

She has praised the efforts of NHS staff who have coped well with the extra demand that hits local hospitals and GP practices during the winter.

Across the UK, more than 380,000 patients were treated within four hours in Accident and Emergency and long waits for surgery fell for the eighth month in a row.

Over seven million people were assessed, treated and discharged or admitted in four hours between December and the end of March – a record high albeit in a mild winter.

NHS chiefs have published data on the extra demand faced this year and the way the health service has coped well with the winter pressures. Ambulance services have responded to the most urgent calls faster and the NHS 111 advice line dealt with an extra 75,000 calls over the winter period.

“Extra Winter pressures have become a fact of life for every hospital as demand spikes after Christmas and I wanted to take this opportunity to praise our NHS staff who work so hard at this time of year,” said Mrs Baldwin.