Rise recorded in A&E waiting times

The number of people waiting more than four hours in A&E has almost doubled, despite a drop in attendances, figures show.









Data from the Department of Health revealed 165,279 people in England waited longer than four hours in A&E and minor injury units from April to June this year.



The figure is almost twice the number waiting more than four hours in the same period in 2010 (86,626).



During that period, there were 5.53 million attendances at A&E, dropping to 5.49 million for the same timeframe in 2011.



Overall, 98.43% of people were seen in A&E within four hours in the three-month period in 2010, dropping to 96.99% for the same quarter in 2011.



Last year, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley reduced the target for the proportion of A&E patients to be seen within four hours from 98% to 95%.



There is now no official target but quality indicators say hospitals should aim to see 95% of patients within four hours.



The move to scrap the target was welcomed by some medical organisations, who saw it as a blunt instrument. Others said scrapping it would inevitably lead to longer waits for patients.



A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: "These figures show that the vast majority of patients - 97% - are still being seen at A&E within four hours.



"We replaced the old four-hour A&E target because doctors said it was not in patients' best interest.



"For the first time, we are measuring the overall quality of care in A&E, as well as the time spent in A&E, which allows doctors to decide what is best for their patients.



"Today's figures confirm that, through this change, waiting times remain low and stable."



Figures released on Monday showed the number of people waiting more than six weeks for key NHS tests has almost quadrupled in one year.



In June, there were 12,521 people waiting more than six weeks for one of 15 key tests, including MRI, CT and heart scans, ultrasound, barium enemas and colonoscopies.



It is up on the 3,510 waiting more than six weeks in June 2010.



There has also been a nine-fold increase in the number of people waiting more than 13 weeks for one of the tests.



In June, there were 1,763 people waiting more than 13 weeks, up from just 190 in June 2010.



Overall, the number of diagnostic tests carried out between April 2010 and March 2011 has risen 2.8% on the previous year, from 37.7 million to 38.8 million.



Data on how A&E departments are performing against eight new clinical standards introduced by Mr Lansley will be published later this month.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

    £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

    Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

    £25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Assistant

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...

    Recruitment Genius: Accounts Administrator

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
    Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

    Finally, a diet that works

    Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
    Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

    Say it with... lyrics

    The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
    Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

    The joys of 'thinkering'

    Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
    Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

    Monique Roffey interview

    The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
    DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
    Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

    How we met

    Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

    Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

    Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
    Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

    Who does your club need in the transfer window?

    Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
    The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015