February 25, 2018

January saw the worst A&E performance in NHS history

09 February 2018, 10:20 | Winifred Adams

NHS hospitals in England record worst ever A&E performance

Waiting times at major A&E departments worst on record in January, figures reveal

Further, the spokesperson said, there were 526,000 emergency admissions last month, 16,964 per day, and a 6.8% jump up on the 15,879 per day in January 2017, "and is the highest number of emergency admissions in a month since records began in August 2010".

Dartford and Gravesham hospital trust saw 10,682 people in A&E and 82% of those were seen within the four hour target.

Governmental targets stipulate that 95% of patients should be seen and treated or discharged within four-hours, however, accident and emergency departments in England only managed an average of 77.1%.

The figure is a slight improvement on December, when it was 85.1 per cent.

Similar performance is being recorded in Scotland, while Wales and Northern Ireland are doing even worse.

The Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt today accepted that it has been "very, very tough" on frontline services and blamed the worst flu outbreak in years.

"When they signed up to go into medicine, they knew there would be pressurised moments", he said. I take responsibility for everything that happens in the NHS.

"We're already starting to see some new innovations like paramedics trying to deal with patients in the community".

Finally, the data from NHS England show that more than two million patients came to A&E during the month, a rise of more than 5% on last years figures.

That means across the county 78% of people were seen within four hours, up from 73% in December.

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Saffron Cordery, director of policy and strategy and deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, said: "These figures show there has been absolutely no let-up in the pressures on the NHS". Every part of the NHS is creaking at the seams.

Experts said patients are dying prematurely because corridors have become "the new emergency wards" this winter, despite unprecedented efforts and planning by staff and the cancellation of tens of thousands of operations.

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. PHE said flu levels remain high but are continuing to stabilise across the UK.

The Society for Acute Medicine warned that "exhausted and stressed" doctors are working in services that could not keep coping with rising pressures.

"The appalling human stories arising from the worst winter crisis on record have shocked the nation".

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

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

'It was better than both the month before, and was better too than the same time last winter.

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