UK Politics

NHS suffers worst A&E waiting times on record

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A&E performance fell to the lowest level on record in March as the NHS continues to face unprecedented pressure.

Just 84.6% of accident and emergency patients in England were seen within four hours last month, dropping from 85% in February and compared to 90% in March 2017.

The numbers mean the four lowest ever figures for the NHS's key target were recorded in the last four months. In December 85.1% of people were seen within the four hour window, and in January 85.3% were seen.

There were more emergency admissions in March than any month on record, with the number up 3.3% to 526,398, equating to nearly 17,000 per day.

In total 2,047,092 people were admitted to A&E departments during the month.

An NHS England spokesperson said: "As expected, these figures for a month ago confirm what was widely reported at the time, namely that during March the NHS continued to experience severe winter pressures."

The headline indicator in type one A&E departments – 24-hour units equipped for the most serious cases – was also the lowest since records began, with 76.4% of patients seen in four hours.

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The last year has seen 23.8 million attendances to A&E in total, with 6 million emergency admissions.

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