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

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
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: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

    Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

    £16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

    Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

    £7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

    Tribal gathering

    Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
    Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

    Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

    Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
    10 best trays

    Get carried away with 10 best trays

    Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
    How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

    How to find gold

    Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
    Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

    Not born in the USA

    Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
    10 best balsamic vinegars

    10 best balsamic vinegars

    Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
    Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?