Patients waiting longer in A&E, says DoH

The number of patients being seen at A&E within four hours has fallen since last year, DoH figures show.

The DoH statistics reveal that across A&E 96.5% of patients waited four hours or less in the third quarter of 2010/11.

This compares to 98.0% in the previous quarter and 97.8% for the same quarter last year.

The DoH figures also revealed that the number of last-minute cancellations for operations is increasing.

During the quarter ending 31 December 2010, 16,785 elective operations were cancelled compared to 15,765 for the same period last year.

Shadow Health Secretary John Healey said services are suffering as a result of decisions ministers are taking on the NHS.

He said: ‘As the Tory-led government forces the NHS through a massive internal reorganisation, the standard of service to patients is getting worse not better. This is now being reflected in cancelled operations and increased waiting times.

‘We are now seeing the consequences of the removal of Labour’s waiting time guarantees for patients and the increased pressures being put on the NHS frontline.’

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