More people are waiting longer in A&E since targets were dropped

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 06 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2241
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The number of people waiting more than four hours for treatment in Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments in England has risen by 67% during the last three months of 2010 compared with the same period a year before.

The Department of Health has defended the trend saying the rise is part of overall growing attendances at emergency departments.

Figures from the department show that the number of people who had to wait more than four hours at A&E rose from 110 738 between October and December 2009 to 184 374 people in the same period in 2010.

The additional 73 636 patients waiting longer has arisen since health secretary Andrew Lansley dropped the previous government’s four hour waiting …

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