A&E waiting times: which hospitals in England have the worst waiting times - January 2023

A&E waiting times remain some of the poorest on record, new NHS figures for January show

Six in every seven hospital trusts in England are failing to meet A&E waiting time targets, new figures for January show.

The standard target is for 95% of patients to be admitted to hospital, transferred to another provider or discharged within four hours, but this was missed at 114 trusts (86%) last month.

The average performance across England was for just 72.4% of patients to be seen within this time, which was an improvement on the 65% seen in December but still one of the poorest performances on record.

NHS bosses have set out the aim of getting this to at least 76% by March 2024, as part of a two-year plan to stabilise services, a plan the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) has branded “unambitious” .

Dr Adrian Boyle, President of the RCEM, said: “January’s performance figures show welcome signs of improvement compared with December. However, things remain extremely challenging in emergency care.”

Nuffield Trust Fellow Jessica Morris said: “January saw a welcome improvement in A&E and ambulance waiting times. But this reflects just how difficult December was for health and care services rather than a more significant bounce-back in NHS performance. Urgent and emergency care was hit at all sides by the early and harsh flu season, ongoing Covid pressures, cold weather and industrial action. It is good to see things moving in the right direction again, but we aren’t through winter yet and we should not underestimate how much pressure NHS staff remain under.”

NHS National Medical Director Professor Sir Stephen Powis said that “despite ongoing pressures across the health service, including industrial action, NHS staff are continuing to work flat-out to deliver the best care for patients”.

These are the 15 hospital trusts across England with the worst A&E waiting time performance across England last month. At each of these trusts, at least four in 10 patients were left waiting longer than four hours to be seen.

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