No end to casualty crisis at A&E in Leeds hospitals

Leeds' NHS Hospitals have continued to struggle with overcrowding and delays in A&E departments.

Latest figures show that a winter crisis continued into March as rising numbers of patients had to wait more than four hours to be seen in A&E.

At Leeds Teaching Hospitals, just under 71 per cent of A&E patients were seen within four hours last month.

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The figure for the trust’s ‘Type 1’ A&Es, those providing 24-7 care for critically-ill patients, was just 64.8 per cent.

Nationally, the number of people waiting more than four hours to be admitted, transferred or discharged from hospital reached a record high, according to NHS England.

Suzanne Hinchliffe, Deputy Chief Executive of the Leeds hospitals, said: “We continue to work with our partners in the NHS and social care to reduce waiting times in our emergency departments where possible.

“We are incredibly proud of all of our staff who work tirelessly to ensure our patients receive the best possible care during their time in hospital.”

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The deteriorating performance follows warnings from leading doctors that the NHS winter crisis would continue into the summer.

Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said the March figures were “the clearest indication yet of the eternal winter we now face in the NHS.”

The health service regulator NHS Improvement praised staff for their efforts during “mammoth” winter pressures.

Its Chief Executive Ian Dalton said: “April tends to mark the point where pressures on the NHS starts to decrease, but we cannot be complacent.

“Hospitals must work alongside GPs and other local community health services to plan for continued increased demand.”

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