NHS winter crisis: Worst EVER delays in A&E and for cancer treatment as waiting list for surgery reaches ANOTHER record-high amid spike in flu and norovirus cases
- Just 81% of A&E patients were treated in four hours in November, data shows
- 4.45million patients faced 18-week waits to have routine operations in October
- Number of cancer patients who started treatment within two months is just 83%
- Separate figures show norovirus is crippling the overwhelmed health service
NHS hospitals are performing worse than ever before this winter, a raft of damning statistics have today revealed.
Just 81 per cent of A&E patients were treated within four hours in November – and 1,112 of them faced delays of 12 hours.
And around 4.45million patients had faced waits of more than 18 weeks to undergo routine operations in October.
In another worst-ever performance, figures show the number of cancer patients who have started treatment within two months is just 83 per cent.
Just 81 per cent of A&E patients were treated in A&E in four hours in November – and 1,112 of them faced delays of 12 hours
Separate figures released by health chiefs this morning show norovirus – as well as flu – is crippling the overwhelmed health service.
Twice the number of hospital beds were closed from the winter vomiting bug last week, compared to the same time point last year.
And bed occupancy rates were almost 95 per cent last week, well above the limit deemed safe by the NHS. One trust even reported having no free beds.
Doctors have repeatedly warned the country’s emergency care is ‘imploding’ and that no political parties have credible plans to rescue it.
The shocking figures come as hospitals across the country have urged patients to stay away from crowded A&E units.
At least 15 trusts have appealed to the public to only attend with genuine medical emergencies via Twitter or their own websites.
They include the Royal Bolton Hospital in Greater Manchester which issued a ‘black alert’ last week, the highest level of escalation.
Senior doctors say A&E units are more overcrowded than usual for this time of year compounded by flu and norovirus, which have both arrived early.
Hospitals across the country are struggling to keep pace with demand and seriously ill patients are coming in at a much faster rate than they are being discharged.
A&E units are rapidly becoming overcrowded as patients have to be kept on trolleys in corridors as they wait for a free bed on a ward.
This winter however the usual pressures are being exacerbated by the winter vomiting bug norovirus, as staff have to close off precious beds to contain the infection.
Flu has also arrived early this year and hospitals in the North of England are reporting a particularly high rate of admissions linked to the virus.