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#GPnews: 485 patients faced trolley waits over 12 hours in January

15:50 Almost a quarter of patients waited over four hours in A&E last week, according to the BBC.

The figures, compiled by NHS Improvement and leaked to the BBC, also show that only one hospital hit its target and for one hospital, Weston Area, only 44% of patients were seen in four hours.

This is the worst performance since the introduction of the four hour wait target in 2004, with only 82.3% of patients at A&E seen within the target timeframe.

The figures also showed that 94.7% of beds were full – the ‘safe’ threshold is 85%.

Once patients were admitted as emergencies, 18,000 patients suffered ‘trolley waits’ lasted longer than four hours. Around 485 of these trolley waits lasted over 12 hours, three times the number seen for the whole of January 2016.

Dr Kathy McLean from NHS Improvement told the BBC that this data was meant for ‘internal’ use and had not yet been verified.

11:10 Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has written to the Government’s budget watchdog, after calling into question the Government’s claims around NHS spending, the Guardian reports.

The Commons Health Committee has called into question the Government’s claim that it is investing £10bn extra into the NHS.

And now Mr McDonnell has written to the Office for Budget Responsibility asking it to review NHS spending following further reports of crisis in the NHS.

Mr McDonnell wrote: ’It has become clear that Labour’s warnings of a looming winter crisis in the NHS were not heeded

’And we have seen in recent days that the British Red Cross has now had to describe the ongoing situation as a humanitarian crisis. The response from the prime minister at the weekend was to play down this situation despite the volume of continued complaints from frontline NHS staff.

’I strongly believe that this is leading to widespread public distrust in the government’s presentation of the level of funding and support for the NHS and social care. Therefore, it seems that now is the time to assess further enhancing the role of the OBR, and add additional responsibilities to your organisation.’

9:20 The BMA has said that the Government should be ‘ashamed’ of all the problems occuring in urgent care services.

The British Red Cross announced on Friday that it had been deployed to hospitals and ambulance services to cope with what the chief executive Mike Adamson called a ‘humanitarian crisis’ in the NHS.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has since announced a package of measures, including having GPs supporting urgent care services – though he gave little indication how this would work. 

But Dr Mark Porter, chair of BMA Council, said: ‘This intervention from the Red Cross highlights the enormous pressure the NHS is currently facing as conditions in hospitals across the country are reaching a dangerous level.

’The Government should be ashamed that it has got the point where volunteers have been necessary to ease the burden.’

He added that the ‘unacceptable absence of additional funding for health and social care in the Autumn statement has only further exacerbated the crisis’.

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