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Photo – Emily Outside A&E at St Helier Hospital 

Photo – Emily Outside A&E at St Helier Hospital


Across England, more than 30,000 patients each week now wait too long to be seen in local A&E departments – an increase of more than 50 per cent on the same period last year. For the first time, Labour Party analysis of official NHS England data names the A&E departments where performance deteriorated most significantly in the last 12 months. Some hospitals have seen ten-fold increases in the number of patients waiting too long - a drop in standards hidden by headline national figures.
The NHS expects patients to be seen, treated, dismissed or admitted within four hours and the Government target is for this standard to be reached for 95 per cent of patients. Yet hospitals around the country fail to achieve that target for rapidly growing numbers of patients.
Similarly, for patients admitted to hospital after visiting A&E, twice as many now wait on trolleys for as long as 12 hours for a bed due to the shortage of available space on the wards.
Labour’s Prospective Member of Parliament for Sutton and Cheam, Emily Brothers reported that:
“At Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, the number of patients waiting over 4 hours in A&E to been seen increased by 70 per cent in a year – from 101 patients during the second week of April 2014 to 172 during the same week in April 2015. The number of patients on a trolley between 4 and 12 hours waiting for a ward bed increased from 23 to 45 patients across the same period.
“To tackle the Tory and Lib Dem NHS crisis, Labour has set out an NHS Rescue Plan for our first 100 days in office. It includes putting significant resources from a mansion tax into the NHS this year; an emergency recruitment round for nurses to get 1,000 more into training this year; and, kick starting early planning to avoid another winter crisis in hospitals with GPs stationed in all A&E departments and more clinically-trained staff on the NHS 111 advice line.”
Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said:
“These figures reveal a worrying slump in A&E performance in the last 12 months and lay bare the scale of the crisis the NHS is facing. Under David Cameron and Nick Clegg, A&E’s across England are operating at their very limits and too many have clearly gone beyond them.
“Labour is the only Party facing up to it, with a fully-funded Rescue Plan. We will ease pressure on over-stretched A&E’s by recruiting 20,000 more nurses and giving people a guaranteed GP appointment within 48 hours.”
This analysis of A&E performance in England’s hospitals uses official NHS England data to compare the number of patients who waited longer than the target 4-hour waiting time to be seen and those who, after being admitted to hospital, waited between 4 and 12 hours on a trolley for a ward bed to become available. The increases represent the change in A&E waiting times in the 12-month period between the weeks ending Sunday 13th April 2014 and Sunday 12th April 2015 – the most recent data available.
The 2014 data can be found here:
The 2015 data can be found here:


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