One in five hospitals missing waiting-time targets

New analysis by the BBC has revealed that nearly one in five local hospital services are consistently failing to hit any of their key waiting-time targets.

The research shows that 29 hospital trusts and boards out of 157 have not hit a single target for a whole year, with all five trusts in Northern Ireland having failed their key targets for A&E, cancer and routine operations every time in 2017-18.

Patients are meant to be seen within four hours of arrival at A&E, whether that be admitted into hospital for further treatment or treated and discharged. 16 hospital trusts in England missed all their monthly targets.

With overwhelming pressures again expected this Winter, the Royal College of Nursing has warned that the NHS is going into the winter ‘on the back foot’, with hospitals facing a shortage of both beds and staff.

Donna Kinnair, acting chief executive, said: “We’ve all sadly become used to seeing TV pictures of patients waiting on trolleys in corridors in the cold winter months. But what our analysis demonstrates is that trolley waits have now become a summer problem too.”

“These waits are an important indicator of the level of pressure hospitals were under this summer during the record-breaking temperatures. This increased strain on the health service this summer will inevitably have a knock-on effect on services this winter, and means that the NHS is going into winter on the back foot.”  

The English trusts who missed all their monthly targets are: Bradford Teaching Hospitals, Taunton and Somerset, Guy's and St Thomas’, Northern Lincolnshire & Goole, Plymouth Hospitals, The Royal Wolverhampton, Mid Essex Hospital Services, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, University College London Hospitals, East Kent Hospitals, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals, United Lincolnshire Hospitals, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells, East and North Hertfordshire, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals.

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