Emergency doctors 'crisis' warning as hospitals continue to miss waiting targets


Major hospitals in England are failing to see almost one in seven patients within four hours, new figures show, as medics warn that emergency staffing has reached crisis levels.

New statistics for June reveal that nearly 15% of people in larger A&E departments and almost 10% of people in all hospitals are not discharged within what is considered the expected time.

The target of seeing 95% of patients within four hours has not been hit by an A&E at any major hospital since July 2013.

It comes the day after the Royal College of Emergency Medicine warned that a gap between supply and demand for emergency doctors is leading to a "real crisis".

A national shortage of emergency doctors also led the Grantham and District Hospital in the East Midlands to announce it was to temporarily close its doors at night. 

NHS England defended the figures, saying it showed "another improvement in performance" at a time when "frontline services continue to come under intense pressure".

June also saw an increasing number of patients attending A&E in England, with 1,950,754 people treated in hospitals across the country.

It marks the highest number of patients attending A&E in the month of June since current records began in August 2010 and is a 2.1% increase on June 2015.