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More than two-thirds of A&E arrivals at the Royal Free London seen within four hours

The main hospital trust serving Barnet is failing to reach the current 78% target reports Sonja Tutty, Data Reporter

A hospital entrance sign with the focus on the Accident and Emergency department
About 2.4 million people attended A&E departments across England last month – (Credit – Radar)

More than two-thirds of people who arrived at accident and emergency at the Royal Free London last month were seen within four hours, new figures show.

The NHS standard is for 95% of patients to be seen within four hours. However, as part of a recovery plan, the health service has an objective for 78% of patients to be seen within this time frame in March 2025.

The previous recovery target was for 76% of patients to be seen within four hours by March this year, which was missed across England.

Recent NHS England figures show there were 27,866 visits to A&E at Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust in May. Of them, 19,438 were seen within four hours – accounting for 70% of arrivals.

Across England, 74% of patients were seen within four hours, a slight fall from the month before.

Figures also show 42,555 emergency admissions waited more than 12 hours in A&E departments from a decision to admit to actually being admitted – up from 42,078 in April.

The number waiting at least four hours from the decision to admit to admission also increased, from 134,344 in April to 138,770 in May.

At Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, 2,054 patients waited longer than four hours, including 929 who were delayed by more than 12 hours.

Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at The King’s Fund, said: “Today’s performance figures cover the traditionally quieter spring and summer period, yet they show the NHS is still under incredible pressure with patients waiting far longer than they should for care.

“It’s no surprise that the NHS is again at the top of many polls on what matters most to voters as we head towards a general election.”

He added “history has shown” the NHS can deliver better care and shorter waits for patients when it is given “the right resources and has a coherent improvement plan”.

“At the end of the day, politicians, national bodies, health care staff and the public all want timely and high-quality care to be available for all – it is now up to the next government to make that possible,” he said.

About 2.4 million people attended A&E departments across England last month – the highest number on record.

The overall number of attendances to A&E at Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust in May was a rise of 6% on the 26,380 visits recorded during April, and 10% more than the 25,419 patients seen in May 2023.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “As these figures show, demand for NHS services across the country remains high.

“May was a record month for urgent and emergency services, with the highest number of A&E attendances as well as being the busiest May for the most urgent ambulance call-outs, while staff delivered a record number of elective appointments for April.”


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