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Soaring trolley waits spark warnings A&E pressures getting ‘worse and worse’

The number of 12-hour waits in accident and emergency departments rose by 27% in one month to reach record levels in January amid warnings overcrowding is harming an increasing number of patients.

Official monthly performance data prompted the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s president to warn that the problems facing emergency departments were getting “worse and worse”, while pointing out the real number of 12-hour A&E breaches is likely higher than official data records. 

The figures also revealed the waiting list had hit a new high of 6.1 million, while the number of two-year breaches also rose a record level.

Trusts recorded 16,558 patients last month waited 12 hours or more in an emergency department from decision to admit to being discharged or admitted. This was up from 12,986 in December.

RCEM president Katherine Henderson warned on Twitter: “This is [decision to admit] plus 12 – a concept which must be retired as a performance metric. We should have 0-12 hour data. You cannot fix a problem if you [are] unwilling to face up to what it actually is. We estimate reality is 20 x more. This is getting worse and worse.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 10 February 2022


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