Intended for healthcare professionals


Waits for emergency care are worst for 10 years, figures show

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 06 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h66
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1The BMJ

Performance on waiting time targets by hospital emergency departments in England has fallen to its worst level for a decade, official figures have shown.

Figures published by NHS England show that only 92.6% of patients in emergency departments were seen within four hours in the quarter from October to December 2014, below the target of 95%.1 The performance is the worst quarterly result against the target since it was introduced in 2004. This is the second time that the target has been missed since the coalition government came to power: the previous lowest performance was 94.1%, recorded in the first three months of 2013.

The other three UK countries are also missing the target at present.

The news came as six hospitals in England were forced to declare “major incidents” owing to patient demand reaching a level …

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