February 25, 2018

Jeremy Hunt finally says sorry as NHS patients suffer 'worst ever' winter

11 February 2018, 01:20 | Rodolfo Wallace

NHS hospitals in England record worst ever A&E performance

Waiting times at major A&E departments worst on record in January, figures reveal

The number of patients waiting more than four hours in all A&E departments, including minor injuries units and specialist centres, was 85.3 per cent, the second worst recorded. It is also the only time extremely long "trolley wait" figures have breached 1,000. She was taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital's A&E where tests revealed that she was suffering from sepsis, flu, pneumonia and a fungal infection.

Their warning came as Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said the NHS had had its worst winter, and as statistics showed further deterioration in hospital performance.

In the interview with ITV he added: "In terms of pressures on the system, I think it probably is the worst ever".

Justin Madders MP, Labour's shadow health minister, said Mr Hunt's comments were "startling" and show "how entirely out of touch with the reality of the NHS winter crisis Jeremy Hunt is".

"All of this points to the need for a long-term funding settlement for the NHS and social care to be reached - one that enables local care services to deliver the standards that patients deserve".

NHS England said more than 1.7 million patients were seen within four hours last month, an increase of 5.72 per cent on the daily average for the same month past year.

"A year ago we warned that corridors had become the new emergency wards".

"It follows the Prime Minister's freakish comment last month that cancelled operations were "part of the plan" for the NHS and that "nothing is perfect", he said. Over a thousand of those had to wait a shocking 12 hours or more.

Government targets ask for all patients to be seen in A&E within four hours.

NHS Trusts in Bournemouth and Poole have met the four hour waiting time target despite the grim national picture.

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"As always the biggest priority for NHS trusts and staff is ensuring patient safety".

Last winter saw the worst strain on services in December 2016 and January 2017 since records began.

The four-hour figure for Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust fell from 82.4 per cent in December to 77.7 per cent in January.

Similar performance is being recorded in Scotland, while Wales and Northern Ireland are doing even worse.

This is from figures on NHS A&E waiting times, for January 2018, which were published on the NHS website today. But the target has now not been hit since July 2015.

'All parts of the system need investment in order to maintain and improve the quality of care that patients need and deserve'. It is deeply concerning that 12 months on the position has worsened, with many harrowing reports of patients being treated in busy corridors by stressed and overworked staff.

Performance figures for January will show how far hospitals are slipping behind performance targets.

"Surgeons and other frontline NHS staff are working tirelessly to provide the best care possible to patients".

Richard Murray, director of policy for The King's Fund, said: 'Today's data show the NHS is still under significant pressure.

"But I also recognise that it is not sustainable and not fair to say to them this is going to be repeated year in, year out".

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