Barts Health NHS Trust A&Es in ‘Christmas of crisis’ as 21% patients wait longer than 4 hours

17,000 A&E patients across London wait more than 4 hours

15 of 19 Trusts miss the target to see 95% of patients within 4 hour target

New NHS A&E waiting time figures have revealed that 2,501 A&E patients were left waiting longer than 4 hours in Barts Health NHS Trust A&Es this Christmas. In the week before and week of Christmas 2,501 patients missed the 4 hour target. That meant that across the two weeks 21.70% of patients were left waiting longer than 4 hours.

Local London Assembly Member John Biggs said A&Es services across London had seen a “Christmas of crisis” and called on the Government to take urgent action to improve the situation. Across the capital only 4 of the 19 NHS Trusts with A&E departments managed to meet the Government target to see 95% of patients within 4 hours, with 17,000 patients waiting longer than the 4 hour target.

The Barts Health NHS Trust includes A&E units at the Royal London, Whipps’ Cross and Newham.

Responding to the new Christmas A&E waiting time figures, London Assembly Labour Member John Biggs said:

“With 2,501 patients waiting longer than 4 hours it’s clear that these A&E services have faced a Christmas of crisis as a result of the strain they are operating under. Whilst Boris and colleagues in Parliament are sitting idly by demand for A&E services is rocketing. We must of course urge patients only to resort to A&E in genuine emergencies, but with GP surgeries also being stretched it is clear we need action rather than more empty words from the Government.

"With A&E departments rapidly approaching breaking point, it is lunacy that the Government is set to close more A&Es this year. Last year’s closures have resulted in 17,000 patients in London waiting longer than 4 hours over Christmas.

"Patients are paying for years of costly reorganisation and health service closures. The Government must change course before the NHS crisis we are experiencing in the Barts Health NHS Trust becomes a permanent fixture."

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