Saturday, January 18News For London

Wait times for A&E are at their worst

Patients are waiting on trolleys as the NHS is overwhelmed by growing admissions at A&Es. (Image: Pixabay)


NHS data revealed it’s “on its knees” this winter as patients are facing the worst A&E waiting times in a decade.

Every major A&E department failed to meet the target waiting time of four hours for the first time ever.

Only 81.4 percent of patients were seen within the four-hour threshold, a record low against the national target of 95 percent.

The NHS standard has not been met since July 2015.

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Since the same month last year, the new NHS numbers revealed that major A&E departments have seen 5.2 percent increase in attendances, totalling 2,143,336 in November 2019.

The 559,556 emergency admissions saw a 4.3 percent increase over the last 12 months.

Knee and hip replacement waiting lists have soared, with a record breaking 4.45m patients waiting for treatments.

Hospitals across the country only met three of the eight cancer treatment targets.

Overall, major A&E departments have seen an overwhelming rise in demand.

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Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS confederation, said in a statement that it is no surprise that leaders are predicting the worst winter on record as the data shows NHS is “on its knees”.

He said: “More and more patients are turning up at emergency departments and there is a limit as to how many they can cope with.”

“Frontline staff are working themselves into the ground but with the current level of vacancies, and ever rising demand, there is only so much they can do.

The newly released numbers are some of the worst since the NHS records began.

In a press release from Nuffield Trust, chief executive Nigel Edwards said: “Returning to Downing Street, Boris Johnson has been met by an immediate reminder of the grim winter his government faces in the English NHS.”

With the arrival of the coldest months in the UK yet to come, the high number of patients waiting on trolleys is “very worrying”.

The NHS is already suffering more early incidences of the flu, leading to concerns of an outbreak this winter.

Edwards said: “To tackle this, the new Government really will need to deliver the 50,000 nurses promised – even if this means more reliance on migrants than they’ve said.”

“We need a long-term commitment to funding for NHS infrastructure, not one-off announcements. And we need to finally see the overhaul of England’s failing social care system that has been pledged so many times.”

The report also concluded that the deaths of three pregnant women were linked to the Conservative’s strict billing regime in a bid to stop health tourism.

The women were believed not to have sought help quickly enough under the false impression that they would have to pay.

The new Tory government, who won a parliamentary majority in the general election, promised 50,000 more nurses and an extra £33.9b annually to the NHS by 2023 under the leadership of Boris Johnson.

The new November report was delayed because of the general election.