A&E waiting times hit worst-ever level

New NHS data has revealed that one in six patients waited longer than four hours in A&E in England during October - the worst-ever performance since the target was introduced in 2004.

NHS England figures showed that 83.6 per cent of patients arriving at A&E were treated or admitted in four hours, even though the target is 95 per cent. That aim has not been met since July 2015.

Other targets covering cancer and routine hospital treatment are also being missed. None of the three key hospital targets have been met for over three years.

Additionally, 76.9 per cent of cancer patients started treatment in 62 days in September - below the 85 per cent target, and 84.8 per cent of patients on the waiting list for hospital treatment waiting under 18 weeks - below the 92 per cent target.

Dr Nick Scriven, of the Society of Acute Medicine, said: "These figures are truly worrying as we haven't even reached the 'traditional' winter period yet. We have heard so many announcements over the last few weeks of half-baked projects that require either thrice promised money or are totally uncosted for the real world."

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “The Conservatives have ushered in the worst NHS crisis on record. Under Boris Johnson the NHS is in crisis and we’re heading for a winter of abject misery for patients. Our A&Es are overwhelmed, more so than ever. In every community there’s an ever-growing queue of people waiting for treatment. The Tories spent a decade cutting over 15,000 beds. Now they should apologise to every patient languishing on a trolley and waiting longer for treatment.”

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