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A&E stats show what staff “already know”

The latest A&E figures “show what staff and patients already know” and could be improved by funding in community care leading figure at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has claimed.

Responding to yesterdays figures Peter Carter, Chief Executive of RCN said: “A&E departments are constantly running at full capacity. Patients and hardworking staff are being let down by a system which is in crisis.

“Hospital trusts trying to recruit more staff have been hamstrung by the short-sighted cuts to nurse training places, which mean there simply aren't enough nurses in the system. 

“This is made worse by chronic under resourcing of community services and social care, which means more people end up in A&E who could be better treated elsewhere. 

Yesterday's A&E attendance figures showed a significant increase in the numbers of patients using A&E services over the winter period along with the decrease in the number of A&Es able to meet the A&E target waiting times.

The government waiting time target is that 95% of A&E patients should be seen within 4 hours. Currently an average of only 93% has been reached on a national scale - with some hospitals only seeing 89% of patients within the target time frame.

Carter said: “The Government needs to stop burying its head in the sand and accept that there is a crisis in A&E, which is getting worse. Nothing short of a long-term strategy, and a significant long-term investment in our health service will put an end to this crisis. Patients deserve no less.”