Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments and GP surgeries are still failing to meet the target waiting times set by the Government. When the targets were introduced in 2004, 98% of all patients had to be dealt with in a four-hour timeframe but this was reduced to 95% in 2010.
The Birmingham Mail reported that only two trusts in the West Midlands have hit the 95% target of patients being seen within four hours of arriving at A&E. The Heart of England NHS Trust has the worst performance with just 81.1% of patients being seen within the target period.
This followed the report that the NHS is England has missed its four-hour A&E wait target for the past three months. The BBC reports that the target has been missed overall in 2014-15, with only 93.6% of patients being seen within four hours.
The four-hour period covers the time from the arrival of a patient at A&E to when they are transferred to another part of the NHS, admitted to hospital or discharged. However, the quarterly figures published show that just 91.8% of patients were seen within the four-hour time frame.
Sky News has also reported that Government policies are causing lengthy queues at GP surgeries and fewer than 600 GP surgeries are open during evening and weekends compared with the last Parliament.
Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, told Sky News that such policies are “forcing people to queue for lengthy periods to access a GP, with many visiting accident and emergency instead.”
The Penningtons Manches clinical negligence team deals with a number of claims on behalf of patients who were not properly investigated, diagnosed, treated or advised by accident and emergency teams within a suitable timeframe. For more information about our service, please click here.