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England sees 'worst summer on record' for A&E waits

This summer was the worst for A&E waiting times in England since the four-hour target was introduced.

Analysis by BBC Newsnight and the Nuffield Trust found an average of 86% of patients were admitted, transferred or discharged from A&E within four hours in the six months to September.

This is the worst performance in that period since the 95% target was brought in in 2004.

Doctors warned that the system was "running out of resilience" and that winter in A&Es was going to be "really difficult".

In September, there were 41,000 more people treated in A&Es within four hours, but there were 64,921 patients waiting more than four hours from decision to their actual admission to further care. Of these patients, 455 waited more than 12 hours. This is a 195.5% increase from the previous year. These are known as trolley waits, because patients are left on trolleys in temporary waiting areas while a bed is found.

"Lying on a trolley is not good for you in any way," said Dr Katherine Henderson, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. "We know these patients can suffer harm because they're in the department for so long."

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Source: BBC News, 10 October 2019


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