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A&E patient waits rise

13th April 2011

Department of Health figures have shown a dramatic rise in the amount of people waiting for over four hours in A&E departments.

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The NHS data revealed a 65% increase following the scrapping of waiting time targets by the government.

In June 2010 Health Secretary Andrew Lansley decided to relax the four hour waiting time target, which has since been abolished.

The information revealed that during the months July to December 2009, 176,522 people had to wait for over four hours, but this increased to 292,052 people from July to December 2010, a 65% rise.

The data showed that of the patients waiting in A&E from July to September 2009, 1.27% had to wait for over four hours.

This figure increased to 2.01% during the same period in 2010. In the months of October, November and December 2009, 2.16% of patients had to wait over  four hours, increasing to 3.52% during the same months in 2010.

The data was made public as a report from the NHS Information Centre also revealed increases to waiting times during 2009/10.

The data showed patients spent three minutes longer from their arrival to treatment in A&E in 2010, in comparison to 2009 (53 minutes as opposed to 50 minutes).

The average patient spent two hours and seven minutes from arrival to departure in A&E in 2010, in comparison to one hour and 59 minutes in 2009.

NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: "Today's report shows that patients spent a slightly longer time on average waiting to be assessed, treated and leaving from accident and emergency departments compared to the previous year."

"Over the coming months, more data will be published for 2011, allowing people to see if the average patient journey time through A&E changes over time."

 

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