A&E waiting times in England hit worst-ever level

The A&E department at the QEQM Hospital

The A&E department at the QEQM Hospital

Labour has accused the Tories of being "staggeringly out of touch" after Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the NHS was in many ways performing better than ever.

Boris Johnson has said that the "colossal investment" the Conservatives are making in the NHS will help alleviate pressure and demand on the service.

Earlier an NHS spokesperson said that "while hospitals will be opening more beds over the coming weeks", the public should be encouraged to get their flu jab or use "the NHS 111 phone or online service as a first port of call for non-emergencies".

Jonathan Ashworth, shadow Health Secretary, stated: "The Conservatives gain ushered within the worst NHS disaster on list".

The knowledge reveals 4.42 million patients on the waiting list for planned surgical map, of whom 84.8 per cent waited lower than 18 weeks - successfully below the 92 per cent aim, final hit in 2016.

Additional data published on Thursday shows that around one-in-four cancer patients are waiting more than 62 days to start their treatment - missing a target that has not been met since December 2015.

A&E doctors said they were "stretched beyond their limits".

Some 76.9% of cancer patients started treatment in 62 days in September, below the 85% target.

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

The data comes as the Royal College of Surgeons called on political leaders to keep the 18-week wait for planned treatment - which is now under review and could be scrapped. If the usual trends continue after Christmas, that would head towards one in five.

He said that 80,000 people have recently been recorded as waiting on trolleys in corridors for a hospital bed to become available and the number could increase to 100,000 by January.

"The health service is seeing far more patients, yet one in six is now waiting more than four hours in A&E".

"As the election promises roll in, we should be under no illusion about the money, staff and time it will take to turn this situation around".

All parties have promised to protect the NHS as they heat up their general election campaign.

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.

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