Accident and Emergency Departments in England have missed waiting time targets, with performance levels recorded as the worst for a decade.

According to NHS waiting time targets, 95% of patients should be seen within four hours of arriving at A&E.

The pressures of winter have seen these targets slip. Between October and December 2014, 92.6% of patients were seen within four hours – the worst quarterly result since 2004.

Other parts of the country are also struggling, with data showing just 83.8% of patients in Wales were seen within four hours during November.

Major incidents declared

The news comes as increasing numbers of hospitals declare major incidents, including Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal, as well as hospitals in North Yorkshire, Surrey and Staffordshire.

A major incident means that special measures are needed to help a hospital cope during a particularly busy time.

Commonly extra staff will be called in, routine operations such as hip replacements will be postponed, and ambulances will be re-directed to nearby hospitals.

Mike Proctor, deputy chief executive of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m seeing pressures in the system that I have never experienced before.”

“When I came to the [Scarborough] hospital this morning every ward was full, every escalation area we put beds into were full of patients.”

“In addition to that there were 18 patients in the A&E department that had to be cared for on beds, because there were no beds in hospital wards for them to go to.”

A&E negligence

If you or your loved one has suffered harm because of poor emergency care, please get in touch with us today.

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