Waiting times in A&E departments are being described as the worst for a decade.

Data collected by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine shows that A&E waiting times across the UK have been getting progressively worse over the past seven weeks.

Information was submitted by 40 hospital Trusts, representing one in five of the total number of Trusts in the UK.

At the start of October, just over 92% of patients were treated or admitted within four hours, slightly below the 95% target. By the week ending 13 November, this figure had dropped to 88%.

If this reflects the national picture – which experts suggest it does – then A&E waiting times are at their worst for a generation.

This is despite 75% of hospitals increasing the number of beds and cancelling routine operations.

Many hospitals reported difficulties discharging patients who were ready go home, but could not leave due to the lack of community services.

Some hospitals said one fifth of hospital beds were occupied by patients who would be released, if the necessary social care was available.

Dr Clifford Mann, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, gave a pessimistic outlook of the mounting winter pressures, saying the “worst is yet to come”.

Poor hospital care

If you or your loved one is harmed by poor hospital care this winter, please contact us at Glynns Solicitors to discuss the possibility of pursuing legal action.

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