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NHS improved emergency waiting times during this winter

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 25 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:729
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    The NHS in England avoided a winter crisis this year with reduced waiting times for emergency cases and hospital admissions, a report published this week says.

    The report, Winter and the NHS 2003-4, showed that during this winter—traditionally winter is the most pressured time of year for the health service—the NHS improved on previous performance in terms of waiting times and influenza vaccination. More than 90% of patients were treated within four hours (the government target) of arrival at hospital accident and emergency departments throughout the winter period—compared with 80% last winter.

    Presenting the findings, Professor George Alberti, national clinical director for emergency access, suggested that increased capacity and investment had meant that …

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