A&E waiting times at 9-year high

The number of patients having to wait more than four hours in A&E has reached its highest level in nine years.

The number of patients having to wait more than four hours in A&E has reached its highest level in nine years.

According to the health think-tank the King’s Fund, 313,000 people waited 240 minutes or more to be seen in the final quarter of 2012-13.

At 5.9 per cent of patients, this is the highest proportion since 2004 and a 40 per cent rise on the same period last year.

The analysis also found that almost 40 per cent of trusts had breached the waiting time target in the last quarter.Chief economist at The King’s Fund John Appleby said: “Emergency care acts as a barometer for the NHS.

“The worryingly high number of patients waiting longer than four hours in the last quarter of 2012/13 is a clear warning sign that the health system is under severe strain.”

The King’s Fund added that the proportion of patients waiting more than four hours before being admitted to hospital from A&E has risen to nearly 7 per cent – the highest level since 2004.

Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said the report showing waiting times at a ten-year high “demolishes once and for all the Tory spin that the A&E crisis has nothing to do with them”.

“Two thirds of NHS leaders surveyed by the Kings Fund say the government’s cuts to local authority budgets are hitting the NHS, with more older people left without the care they need at home, and many others getting stuck in hospital beds at the end of their treatment.”

“Their arrogance and complacency in the face of a crisis is one of the greatest dangers the NHS faces.”

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.

3 Responses to “A&E waiting times at 9-year high”

  1. PaBroon

    The players culpable are Labour themselves. They are the people who put the disastrous GP contract in place. Successive ministers of all persuasions have just paved over the cracks. The NHS needs to be completely remodelled. It’s still trying to function on a 1948 doctrine. People need to decide what the NHS can and cannot do. It’s clear that it cannot be all things to all people.

  2. sparky

    Let us never forget that the Staffordshire scandal, the worst in the history of the NHS, happened under Labour, the ‘guardians’ of the NHS.

  3. Edward Wilcock

    The Government’s excuse for the record waiting times in Hospital is ‘people are living longer’
    What a disgusting statement’ How long have they known about this situation – Years.
    What next. Edward Wilcock – edwil83@gmail.com

Leave a Reply