NHS ‘has busiest year in its history’

The NHS in England has had the busiest year in its history with more patients than ever seeking help, official figures show.

Nearly 23m people visited A&E in the 12 months to March 2016 – a rise of more than 500,000 from the previous year.

Delays rose throughout the period, with March itself having the single worst performance against the four-hour A&E target since it was introduced in 2004.

Targets for cancer, routine operations and ambulances have also been missed.

NHS England said the ongoing dispute with junior doctors had started having an impact, with the proportion of patients waiting more than 18 weeks for operations such as knee and hip replacements hitting its highest level.

A spokesman for NHS England also defended the figures, saying the proportion of people dealt with in four hours in A&E – 91.9% – was “almost certainly one of the best performances in the Western world” despite falling short of the 95% target.

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Source – BBC News


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