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Revealed: 420,000 Patients Forced To Wait More Than 12 Hours In A&E

420,000 people were forced to wait more than 12 hours for treatment in A&E.
420,000 people were forced to wait more than 12 hours for treatment in A&E.

420,000 people were forced to wait more than 12 hours for treatment in A&E.

A record 420,000 patients were forced to wait more than 12 hours in accident and emergency units last year, new figures have revealed.

The huge figure is 20% higher than in 2022 - and an astonishing 50-fold increase on four years ago.

It means an average of 1,150 patients a day faced waits of 12 hours or more to be admitted to hospital last year.

The findings, based on analysis of NHS England data by the Lib Dems, also showed that in some parts of the country, nearly half of those attending A&E have to wait more than 12 hours.

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said: “Every year A&E delays are getting worse and worse under this Conservative government as hospitals are starved of the resources and staff they need.

“These appalling delays are leaving often vulnerable and elderly patients waiting for hours on end in overcrowded A&Es.

“It is simply unthinkable that Rishi Sunak is now choosing to slash funding for the NHS further, while handing big tax cuts to the banks. This will just pour petrol on the flames of the NHS crisis.

“People deserve so much better than this Conservative government that is ignoring the suffering of patients and driving our health service into the ground.”

According to the figures, just 8,272 people waited 12 hours or more to be admitted to hospital at A&E in 2019. But by last year, that had increased to 419,560.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Our urgent and emergency care recovery plan is already cutting both A&E waits and ambulance response times compared to last year - but we know there is more to do.

“We are on track to deliver an additional 5,000 permanent staffed hospital beds this winter and have met our target to deliver 10,000 virtual ward beds, allowing patients to recover from the comfort of familiar surroundings.

“We recently provided £800 million to support capacity in the NHS and help patients get the care they need as quickly as possible this winter.”

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