Only 7% said significant progress was being made in integrated care, and two-thirds said the lack of progress meant that services were “unsustainable”.
Mike Farrar, NHS Confederation Chief Executive and a champion of integrated care, said the survey results were “very worrying”.
The NHS Confederation, the membership body for NHS commissioners and providers, supported the NHS reforms but has since expressed concern at the impact of austerity policies.
Financial pressure, with the ‘Nicholson challenge’ now known to be an absolute cut in NHS spending, was flagged by 60% of NHS leaders as a “serious” problem and by 83% as one that would worsen in the coming year.
Half of the respondents said waiting times and access to care had deteriorated in the past year, while 70% said they would do so in the next 12 months.
“In the short term the NHS is holding it together,” said Mike Farrar, “But the sticking plasters on the creaking parts of the system will only last so long. We are already seeing the pressures on our A&Es bubbling over.
“Effective long-term change will require NHS leaders, with the support of the public and politicians, to take up the gauntlet and see through some radical changes to the way we deliver care,” he concluded.