A&E waiting time in England is the poorest in ten years

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6th January 2015 12:17 - Health

England’s NHS has missed its target waiting time, new figures have shown, with times falling to the poorest in ten years.

The 95% target was missed in the period between October 2014 and December 2014, with just 92.6% of patients being seen in the four hour window.

This quarterly result is the worst since the target’s introduction in 2004.

A number of hospitals, throughout the UK, have recently announced “major incidents” - whereby the hospital is under high pressures, which warrant extra staffing, the cancellation of non-emergency outpatient care and postponing routine operations, such as knee and hip procedures. These measures are common and it is likely that they are happening across the UK at the moment.A&E waiting time in England is the poorest in ten years

As a last resort, hospitals may divert ambulances, meaning that no emergency patients arrive at the site. This effectively closes the hospital.

Although this eases the pressure of the hospital on alert, it places a strain on other sites.

Major incidents often occur during the winter period, or if there’s a major accident, such as a large road incident.

Not all hospitals choose to declare the pressure which they are under, meaning more hospitals may be on official alert than the figures suggest.

Under the coalition, targets have not been met twice and in the first quarter of 2013, 94.1% of patients were seen in the same four hour window.

Every week, England announces these results, along with quarterly announcements and one at the end of August. Since the end of summer, the target has not been met, every week.

However, England are not the worst country for A&E waiting times, as the results from November in Wales indicate that just 83.8% of patients were seen within the four hour window.

A&E performance across the UK
           Nation

                     Target 

              (In four hours) 
 

                        Latest

                  Performance

         England                          95%          92.6% (Oct - Dec 2014)
   Northern Ireland                          95%               80.5% (Nov 2014)
         Scotland                          98%               93.5% (Sept 2014)
           Wales                          95%               83.8% (Nov 2014)

 

Performing lower than Wales in November was Northern Ireland, with approximately 80% of patients being seen in four hours.

On the other hand, Scotland’s figures for November showed that 98% of patients were consulted in the same window.

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