Leeds A&E departments failing to meet four-hour waiting time target

The NHS has seen the worst-ever performance on A&E waiting times since the four-hour target was introduced in 2004.The NHS has seen the worst-ever performance on A&E waiting times since the four-hour target was introduced in 2004.
The NHS has seen the worst-ever performance on A&E waiting times since the four-hour target was introduced in 2004.
New data for October 2019 has revealed that Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is failing to meet the national standard for patient waiting times in A&E.

The national operational standard set by the NHS dictates that 95% of A&E patients should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours of arriving.

For Leeds NHS Trust hospitals, however, just 85.2% of patients were attended to during this four-hour window in October, leaving 14.8% waiting over four hours to be seen.

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In Yorkshire as a whole, 81% of trusts included in the data were shown to miss the 95% target for A&E waiting times in October.

Leeds was the fifth worst-performing trust in Yorkshire on waiting times in October 2019.Leeds was the fifth worst-performing trust in Yorkshire on waiting times in October 2019.
Leeds was the fifth worst-performing trust in Yorkshire on waiting times in October 2019.

Data for Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust was not available.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was the worst-performing trust in the region, with just 73.3% of patients attended to within the four hour target window over the month.

Clare Smith, Chief Operating Officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said:

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“We continue to see an increased demand for our services in A&E. Operational pressures in Leeds reflect the national picture and the number of people attending many A&E departments remains high. In comparison to last year, we have seen an approximate 3.2% increase in A&E attendance which equates to approximately 4,100 additional patients attending our Emergency Departments between April and October 2019 compared to the previous year.

“Despite the increases in attendances, our performance remains above the national average. We continue to work with our partners across the NHS and social care to reduce waiting times in our Emergency Departments and improve flow out of hospital as soon as a patient is ready to go home. Our staff are working hard to maintain safe services and ensure we deliver the best care to our patients and their families.”

A&E performance nationwide is now at an all-time low, and experts predict that the NHS could be headed for one of its bleakest ever winters. The new NHS data shows that one in six patients waited longer than four hours in A&E in England during October - the worst-ever performance since the four-hour target was introduced in 2004.

The health service has also missed out on a number of other targets, including how long people wait to start planned treatment and waits for cancer care.

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Nuffield Trust chief economist, Professor John Appleby, said: "These figures show the next government will immediately be faced with one of the bleakest winters in the NHS's history."

If this trend keeps going, I fear we could see 100,000 people stuck on trolleys this coming January.”

To see where Leeds and other Yorkshire trusts rank on A&E waiting times, follow this link.