NHS records worst ever A&E delays in December - Latest Pharmacy News

Grant Boone
January 11, 2020

The figures also show that only one of 118 NHS trusts with a type 1 A&E department - those with a consultant-led 24-hour service - achieved the 95% standard on all types during the month.

Attendances at A&E throughout 2019 were up nearly 5% on 2018, and rose 14.2% within three years, according to NHS England. NHS facilities saw about 4,300 extra patients per day in December, another record.

About 10,000 callouts were to the most serious, life-threatening cases - again the highest number recorded in a month and a rise of 16.6% from the previous year.

Professor Stephen Powis, the NHS's medical director, said: 'A&Es across the country are now very busy - in 2019 we treated over a million more patients in our A&Es than the previous year. This is the highest number of over four and twelve hour delays from decision to admit to admission since data collection began, the NHS England report said.

In December, only 79.8 per cent of patients were seen within four hours in all A&E departments compared to the 81.4 per cent of the previous month.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said: "A&Es across the country are now very busy - in 2019 we treated over a million more patients in our A&Es than the previous year".

The agency said more flu patients this winter may have played a factor in the uptick in hospital traffic. For the public there is still time to get your flu jab, and do not forget to use the free NHS 111 phone and online service and your local pharmacist.

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The figures further revealed that 98,452 people have waited at least four hours in trolleys in A&E before hospital staff finding them a bed, while 2,347 of them were delayed over 12 hours.

It rounds off a hard year for the NHS, which saw the under-pressure service record its lowest ever national figure of 79.8%.

"The national A&E waiting time target of four hours is 95%, so we know that some people are waiting longer than they should, and we understand that this is frustrating".

Of these, 2,347 waited more than 12 hours - another record high and a 726.4% increase from the previous year.

Katherine Henderson, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said the NHS was "struggling to escape its spiral of decline".

Many of our existing Emergency Departments are too small, run down and need of fix.

"Some patients are waiting too long, but we also need to recognise that more patients are supported than ever". We have the lowest level of both CT and MRI scanners per capita in comparable nations. On the evidence of the last ten years, the Conservatives have manifestly failed.

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