Record numbers faced four-hour A&E waits in England in October

Posted: November 14th 2022


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A record number of people had a long wait to be seen in A&E departments in October, NHS England figures show.

More than 550,000 patients were waiting more than four hours in major A&E units, up from 492,000 in September - the highest proportion on record.

The Society of Acute Medicine warned the situation was "unacceptably poor" and likely to deteriorate further.

The NHS said it faced the busiest October ever in A&E and for the most serious ambulance call-outs.

The latest monthly data from NHS England showed hospitals coming under increasing pressure ahead of the busy winter period.

The proportion of all patients in A&E and minor injury units being seen, discharged or admitted within four hours fell to 69% in October, down from 71% in September, and well below the 95% NHS target.

The number of the sickest patients having to wait a long time for a spare hospital bed also increased sharply.

Some 43,792 patients had to wait at least 12 hours in A&E after a decision to admit to a ward had been made, up 34% from 32,776 in September, and the highest number in records going back to August 2010.