A&Es are in crisis across the UK. Amid staff shortages, strikes and winter illnesses, people have been waiting record times to see a doctor in an emergency, with many having to wait longer than the NHS’s target of four hours.
The hospitals in the UK with the worst A&E waiting times this January have been revealed by research by the BBC. Nationwide, 28 percent of patients had to wait longer than four hours. Thankfully, London didn’t do too badly: out of the top ten worst hospitals in the UK London didn’t feature, and three of our trusts had some of the shortest waiting times.
The London hospital with the shortest wait was St George’s Hospital in west London, with 18 percent of 11,095 arrivals waiting longer than the target time in January. Homerton Hospital in Hackney had the second shortest waits, with 17 percent of 9,854 arrivals surpassing four hours. In third was Guys and St Thomas’, with 21 percent of 16,465 arrivals.
UCLH, King’s College Hospital and Barts all had A&E waiting times longer than the national average, with 29 percent, 39 percent and 30 percent of patients waiting over four hours respectively.
According to research by the Emergency Medicine Journal, waiting for more than five hours can seriously increase the risk of patients dying or becoming seriously unwell.
A spokesperson for the NHS in London said: ‘There is no doubt that hospitals in London have experienced significant demand for emergency care this winter as NHS staff continue to work flat-out to deliver the best care for patients.
‘As part of extensive winter preparations, we have introduced more beds and streamlined discharges with social care colleagues to manage increased demand and will build on that with the new plan to recover urgent and emergency care, launched at the end of last month.’