One in five A&E patients in Leeds waiting more than four hours to be seen

Close to a fifth of A&E patients in Leeds had to wait more than four hours to be seen over a year-long period, it’s been revealed.

By David Spereall
Saturday, 30th April 2022, 11:45 am

Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said that 82.9 per cent of attendees at emergency departments were treated within the timeframe between April 2021 and March 2022.

Read more: Watch moment endangered peregrine falcon hatches in nest on Parkinson Tower for first time in three yearsThe CCG’s chair said the NHS had suffered a “winter no like other,” while it was revealed earlier this month some patients have had to wait up to 12 hours in waiting rooms.

Health service targets dictate that 95 per cent of A&E attendees should be seen within four hours.

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Hospital stats say 20 per cent of A&E patients face a four hour wait.

However, most hospitals across the country have repeatedly missed that target over the last year as record levels of demand, Covid and staffing shortages have crippled the service.

Dr Jason Broch, the chair of the CCG, which oversees the city’s NHS services, said Leeds’ A&E performance was fairly “standard”, compared to other areas.

He said there were “nuances” behind the targets hospitals are supposed to meet, but that Leeds had outperformed places such as Bristol and Nottingham.

Speaking at a meeting of local health professionals on Thursday, he said: “We’ve had a really hard winter.

“We always say we’ve had a hard winter in the NHS, but this year has felt additionally hard because of this increased demand and people describe it as a winter like no other.

“There’s increased demand, record levels of people at A&E. Every setting is consistently at or above capacity.”

Dr Broch added: “That has an impact, especially at a time where because of increased infection rates a lot of staff have been off.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen, in my time working in the system, so many people off at the same time, whether that’s through Covid or anything else.”

Earlier this month, the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust warned that patients without life-threatening injuries could be left waiting “a very long time to be seen”, as they said response times had been pushed “to breaking point” by demand.

Those without serious or life-threatening injuries have been urged to call the NHS non-emergency 111 number, or alternatively attend either of Leeds’ two urgent treatment centres, in Otley and Middleton.

They are both open between 8am and 11pm every day, including on bank holidays.