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January was the second-worst month for A&E — NHS crisis

09 February 2018

Only 77.1% of patients seen at A&E units based at hospitals met the four hours target, according to which A&E patients must be seen, treated, and admitted or discharged in under four hours, in January.

Jeremy Hunt refused to apologise to NHS staff for the winter crisis saying "they knew what they signed up to".

The figure is well short of the target of dealing with 95% of patients within that timeframe, but a slight improvement on the December figure of 85.1%, which was the joint-worst on record.

NHS England welcomes the figures as evidence that the system has coped over the winter, but doctors say they remain concerned.

Independent health charity the Nuffield Trust said the figures showed there were more trolley waits than ever before. This is out of 1,043 patients who had to wait over 12 hours to be seen across the whole country.

NHS England said more than 1.7m patients were seen within four hours last month, an increase of 5.72 per cent on the daily average for the same month past year.

"We're already starting to see some new innovations like paramedics trying to deal with patients in the community". Distressing scenes of frail elderly people in corridors on trolleys have become an all too familiar sight this winter - nursing staff do not want to provide this kind of undignified care, and it is pushing people to quit the NHS.

Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said the figures demonstrate how the NHS does "not now have a sustainable model" to cope during the busy winter months when illnesses such as flu and norovirus are more prevalent.

And the public body later referred to it as the "worst flu season in years" with 215 confirmed deaths.

Dr Nick Scriven, the president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: "The last six weeks have seen the acute services of the NHS under a sustained period of stress due to "normal" winter pressures along with a surge in influenza".

"We know the worst of winter may be yet to come".

Almost 7000 patients were seen within four hours or less out of a total of 7,500 people who attended the Bournemouth's A&E department.

He said: "It follows the Prime Minister's weird comment last month that cancelled operations were "part of the plan" for the NHS and that 'nothing is perfect".

Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "The appalling human stories arising from the worst winter crisis on record have shocked the nation".

The figures reveal just how far away the NHS is from meeting the requirement for hospital A&Es, walk-in centres and urgent care centres to deal with 95% of patients within four hours.

It comes after last month's accident and emergency waiting time targets had the second lowest result on record.

January was the second-worst month for A&E — NHS crisis