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A&E waits 'getting worse'

31st January 2013

Patients are facing longer waits in A&E departments across England, according to new figures.

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The data, from the Department of Health and compiled by Labour party researchers, reveal that in recent months the wait times and delays have got worse.

An extra 47,000 patients have waited more than four hours in A&E this winter - a 20% rise on the same period 12 months ago - though the NHS is still meeting its target that 95% of people are seen in four hours.

Concerns have also been voiced at ambulances queuing outside hospitals, often for more than half an hour, as patients wait to be admitted.

Between 30 November and 20 January that happened nearly 43,000 times, up by 35% on the same period the year before.

Shadow Labour health secretary Andy Burnham said: “It is becoming clearer by the day that ministers left the NHS unprepared for winter. A number of A&Es are simply not coping. Hospitals don’t have enough staff and there are growing concerns for patient safety.”

The College of Emergency Medicine said the rising pressures were unsustainable and that rising patient numbers, especially out of hours, continued to be a major challenge.

Health Minister Norman Lamb said winter would always mean difficult periods for the NHS, but the health service was still in line to meet targets this year, despite an extra one million people visiting A&E units.

But he added: “It really makes the case we have to do much more to keep people out of hospital.”

 

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MIKHAN KHAN

Thursday 31st January 2013 @ 15:05

Their may be several reasons, but we do not have to look far to see that the number of patients has increased and that for even simple ailments which can be handled at home, a majority wants to rush to the A&E, thus putting avoidable unsustainable pressurse on the Hospital.


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