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12-hour A&E waits in winter 'becoming normalised'

The number of patients waiting more than 12 hours for a bed on a ward after being seen in A&E in England was 19 times higher this winter than it was before the pandemic, figures show.

There were nearly 100,000 12-hour waits in December and January - compared with slightly more than 5,000 in 2019-20.

A decade ago these waits were virtually unheard of - in the four winters up to 2013-14 there were fewer than 100.

The King's Fund said long delays were at risk of becoming normalised.

It said the pressures this winter had received little attention compared with last winter, despite no significant improvement in performance.

During December 2023 and January 2024, 98,300 patients waited more than 12 hours for a bed on a ward after A&E doctors took the decision to admit them.

The Northern Ireland branch of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) said the pressures were "unsurmountable" and it was having a detrimental impact on patients.

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Source: BBC News, 15 February 2024


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