Monday, 23 July, 2018

Number of A&E patients treated within four hours at lowest ever level

Theresa May meets patient Sandra Dunn at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey where she later apologised to the country for the mounting problems the NHS is facing Number of A&E patients treated within four hours at lowest ever level
Patty Aguilar | 12 January, 2018, 00:27

A&E workers told HuffPost UK this week that pressure on the frontline is so intense that patients are waiting 10 hours to be seen by a doctor, while doctors and nurses are suffering from anxiety and depression as a result.

NHS England said that the numbers of patients stuck in hospital unnecessarily, officially known as delayed transfers of care (DTOCs) because of a lack of community or social care capacity to discharge them were at record lows.

NHS Forth Valley has apologised to patients attending the accident and emergency department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital after they had the longest waits in Scotland between Christmas and new year.

Some 2,016,000 people attended NHS England hospital emergency departments last month, an increase of 3.7 per cent on the same month past year.

More than 16,600 people had to wait more than half an hour in A&E departments, NHS England said, as staff are faced with rising numbers of flu cases and respiratory illness, with 48 flu-related deaths in England so far this winter.

Statistics released today showed that just 85.1% of A&E patients were seen within four hours in December 2017, falling significantly short of the NHS target of 95%, meaning 300,000 patients waited too long for care.

The figures are even worse for what the NHS calls Type 1 A&E departments - a consultant led 24 hour service with full resuscitation facilities and designated accommodation for emergency patients - where just 77.3 per cent of patients were seen within 4 hours, compared to 83 per cent in November 2017 and 79.3 per cent for the same month previous year.

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Meanwhile, referral to treatment figures show that, of the 3.2 million patients on the waiting list for treatment at the end of November 2017, just 89.5% had been waiting less than 18 weeks.

Throughout the month bed occupancy rates never dropped below 91.8 per cent, despite 85 per cent being considered the point at which patients are likely to acquire infections within hospitals.

She said: "It will take some time for services to recover from the pressures being felt this winter and for the spikes in flu levels to subside".

Hopson added that the government needed to find a long-term funding solution for the NHS in England.

Medical experts said this showed the decision to cancel non-urgent care last week, until at least February, was a sensible one but it would store up disruption for patients and hospitals later on.

The Royal College of Surgeons called December's A&E performance "disappointing".

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