Leaked data highlights NHS failure as A&E waiting times hit record high in England

NHS waiting times have risen to record highs over winter as patients have had to wait even longer for treatments. December saw the worst A&E performance ever as waits for treatment reached their longest in more than seven years.

The newly released data shows that 2,593 people ended up waiting over 12 hours to be seen to in 2016, more than two times the amount in the previous year.

It has got to the point where some hospitals have reached such high levels of overcrowding that nurses have no option but to treat patients in corridors. In addition to this, the number of cancer patients which were waiting more than two months to undergo vital treatment hit an all time high of 25,157 in 2016.

Last week, figures showed that nine out of 10 hospitals are overcrowded and have functioned at levels which have been seen as unsafe during the winter.

Speaking during a Downing Street press conference, Theresa May stated: “We have put record funding into the National Health Service. I recognise that it is under pressure – that’s why we will be putting the £10bn extra into the NHS.

Mark Porter, chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA) stated, “The government have so far failed to grasp the seriousness of the situation. The Prime Minister cannot continue to bury her head in the sand as care continues to worsen.”Porter added, “The government must urgently look at the long-term funding, capacity and recruitment issues facing the system as a whole if we are to get to grips with the pressures the NHS faces year in, year out, but which are compounded during the winter months.”

Doctors have confirmed that recently they are ‘taking too many risks’ by sending patients home early, and nurses have also been reported saying that conditions are ‘unsafe’ and ‘worrying’.

Another element of the NHS which was below response time were ambulances which also fell below the target. The Guardian found that, within the eight regional ambulance trusts still using the long-established way of measuring performance, statistics revealed that “crews got to the scene of just 66.4% of Red 1 calls – which are life-threatening emergencies such as someone having stopped breathing or suffered a cardiac arrest – within the required eight minutes, when it should be at least 75%. Ambulance services last met the 75% target in May 2015.”

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