News : A&E Waiting Times in England are Worst for a Decade
Jan 6, 2015 -- A&E waiting times in England have plummeted to the lowest level in a decade, a reflection of the growing 'crisis' in the NHS, experts said.
Figures released reveal from October to December, 92.6 per cent of patients were seen within four hours - short of the 95 per cent target.
The latest performance marks the worst quarterly results since the target was introduced at the end of 2004.
It comes as hospitals across the country face exceptional demand and unprecedented pressures.
Nine hospitals have declared 'major incidents' – an emergency trigger usually reserved for air crashes or terror attacks.
Emergency plans have been implemented, including calling in extra staff and cancelling non-emergency care, including routine operations.
The Government today admitted the figures were 'disappointing' conceding there is a 'huge amount of pressure' on the health service.
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Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said hospital bosses feel they are 'running just to keep still' to cope with rising demand.
And top doctors today called for more funding in the immediate term to help the health service cope.
The BMA warned that records showed the 'unprecedented levels of pressure' on the health service and the Royal College of Nursing said the system was in 'crisis', blaming chronic under funding and staffing shortages.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2015