Statistics show that during January 2019 just 84.4% of patients were treated or admitted by the NHS in England within four hours. This falls well short of the 95% threshold that was introduced in 2004.

These figures mean that nearly 330,000 patients waited longer than they should with hospitals reporting significant difficulties finding beds for those needing to be admitted. In addition more than 80,000 patients were kept waiting an extra four hours or more to be transferred to a ward after their wait in A&E.

Dr Nick Scriven, of the Society for Acute Medicine, said it was clear the NHS was under "severe strain". He further stated that hospitals had seen significant over-crowding with many intensive care units completely full. The knock-on effect was that ambulances were being delayed dropping off patients at A&E.

"Although there is less minor illness associated with flu this year, there are more severely ill people than last year which is putting an even bigger strain on the critical care facilities in our hospitals.

"Any NHS worker will tell you that the stresses and strains are very real and ongoing with no let up in sight."

Freeths solicitors have experience of medical negligence claims following a delay in receiving treatment at A&E departments. Such delays in receiving effective treatment have the potential to lead to significant life changing damage and potentially death.

If you are concerned about delays suffered by you or a loved one which you feel has led to negligent care, please contact a member of our national team for a free, informal discussion:-

Karen Reynolds, Partner (Derby/Stoke on Trent/Birmingham) on 0845 274 6830 karen.reynolds@freeths.co.uk

Carolyn Lowe, Partner (Oxford/Milton Keynes) 0186 578 1019 carolyn.lowe@freeths.co.uk

Jane Williams, Partner (Leicester/Nottingham) on 0845 272 5724 jane.williams@freeths.co.uk

For more information about this BBC news report please see the following link:

 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-47229719