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Home Industry News Emergency department waiting times ‘at nine-year high’

Emergency department waiting times ‘at nine-year high’

4th June 2013

Nearly six percent of patients waited four hours or longer to be seen in accident and emergency departments between January and March 2013, according to the latest figures from The King's Fund.

This was the equivalent of 313,000 patients across the country and represents the highest reading for this figure since 2004, meaning the government's target of having less than five percent of patients waiting for this amount of time was missed.

Nearly 40 per cent of trusts reported that they had failed to achieve this goal, with the report suggesting that growing financial pressures on NHS bodies mean that performance could deteriorate once again this winter.

Though NHS trusts have managed to reduce their outgoings by improving management and procurement efficiency up to this point, it will be difficult to continue to make savings without making changes to services.

John Appleby, chief economist at The King's Fund, said: "The pressures in emergency care will not be relieved by focusing on a single aspect of the problem in isolation – it requires a coordinated response across the whole health system."

This comes after the British Medical Association called on the government last month to work with GPs to find a solution to the current emergency care crisis.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801594584-ADNFCR

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