A&E performance at record low with NHS data 'delayed for after general election'

A&E performance has hit a new record low, according to NHS figures held back a day due to the general election results.

Almost 90,000 people spent more than four hours waiting in A&E for a ward bed – compared to 54,373 in the same month last year.

It is the highest number of four-hour delays from decision to admit to admission since the statistic collection began.

There were 1,112 people who faced waits in A&E of more than 12 hours for a ward bed – again the highest number on record.

And 98.5% of patients were seen within 4 hours in type 3 A&E departments, compared to 98.9% in October 2019 and 99.1% in the same month last year, the findings show.

Statistics watchdog (UKSA) had advised against publication of any official data on polling day.

The figures make for stark reading (stock image)

Claire Miller, deputy head of data journalism at Reach, tweeted: “So the A&E figures that would have been out yesterday morning but for the election are out and they are basically the worst A&E figures ever.

“In major A&Es nearly three in ten patients waited more than four hours in November (71.4% waited less), again the worst performance on record (and this is November, it’s unlikely to get better in the coming months).”

She added: “Just 81.4% of patients arriving at A&Es in England in November waited less than four hours from arrival to admission/discharge/transfer – the lowest proportion since records began in November 2010.”

The total number of A&E attendances in November 2019 was 2,143,336, an increase of 5.2% on the same month last year.

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The operational standard for A&E waiting times is that 95% of patients should be admitted, transferred or discharged within 4 hours of their arrival at an A&E department.

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