Survey Uncovers Escalation of NHS A&E Waiting Times

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6th December 2012 15:05 - Health

A nationwide survey conducted by the Care Quality Commission, which questioned 46,000 patients who have been treated at A&Es in the UK, has uncovered an increase in hospital emergency service waiting times in several key regions.

One in three of the respondents said they had had to wait more than four hours to get treated in A&E, up from a less than a quarter in 2004. In addition, a third of patients also said they had to wait more than half an hour to be seen by a doctor or nurse, a further rise from a quarter in 2004.

Surveyants who arrived at the hospital by ambulance also faced longer waits, with nearly one in four having to stay with the ambulance crew for more than 15 minutes before A&E staff became available to take care of them, while one in 20 had to wait over an hour. This issue also leaves ambulances unable to respond to new 999 calls.

The study, which covered 147 NHS trusts with major accident and emergency departments, also discovered that 59% of patients were not told how long they would have to wait to be examined, compared with 56% in 2004.

Furthermore, almost half of the patients who were prescribed medicines said they were not warned about possible side effects.

Despite these findings, most of the surveyants said they still had confidence and trust in the health professionals who treated them.

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