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Patients are waiting ‘too long’ at A&E, says Monitor

More than twice as many foundation trusts are missing the four-hour A&E targets this year compared with 2012/13, the foundation trust regulator has found.

Monitor’s quarterly report found that 31 foundation trusts – 38% – missed the target to see patients within four hours of them arriving at A&E. This compared with 13 (16%) in the same period the year before.

The regulator said it would be working with NHS England and the NHS Trust Development Authority to support trusts to meet their targets this winter.

Jason Dorsett, financial risk and reporting director at Monitor, said: ‘Our analysis of returns from foundation trusts shows that patients are still waiting too long at A&Es in a number of foundation trusts.

‘Increased demand means more than ever that trusts need better and earlier planning to make sure they deal with these problems.  

This comes as the Government has pledged £500m over the next two years to help struggling trusts cope with winter pressures.

The quarterly report also found that 48 trusts were in deficit in quarter one, compared with 36 in the same period last year, with the overall deficit totalling £74m.