A&E target missed for the year

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Published: Friday 13th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Repeated failure to meet the target of 95% of patients waiting four hours or less at A&E departments in England means it is no longer possible for the NHS to meet the standard for the whole of 2014/15, the Department of Health has said.

The target of 95% of patients spending four hours or less from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge was missed for the 23rd week in a row last week.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said this means it is no longer possible for the NHS to meet the standard for the fourth quarter of the year – and for the whole of 2014/15.

It is the first time the standard has not been met for a year.

The proportion of patients seen at A&E departments in England within four hours hit a four-week high last week but still failed to meet the target of 95%.

A round-up of the winter’s figures shows there was unprecedented demand on A&E services, with two weeks in December having the two highest attendance figures ever recorded for a winter period.

It dealt with more than seven million attendances over the four-month period from November to February – an increase of 190,000 on the same period last winter.

Demand in November and December was particularly high, with attendances up by 6.2% over those two months.

The highest peak was seen before Christmas in the week ending December 21 when there were 446,000 attendances – up by 9.3% on the same week last winter.

The next highest attendance came in the week ending December 14 when 440,000 patients were dealt with – up 5.9% on the same week for last winter.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “We know the NHS is busier than ever before and despite missing the A&E standard for the year, over nine out of ten patients are being seen, treated and discharged within four hours.

“We’ve given a record £700 million this winter for almost 800 more doctors, 4,700 more nurses and 6,400 more beds and are backing the NHS’ long term plan which focuses on joining up care and doing more to prevent illness, and have provided an extra £2 billion in funding next year to build a service fit for the future.”

Published: Friday 13th March 2015 by The News Editor

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