More than half the patients attending major A&E at Oxford University Hospitals Trust waited longer than four hours to be dealt with last month, figures show.

The King’s Fund health think tank said there is “no shying away from the reality that the NHS is deep in crisis”, after A&E performance dropped to the worst on record across England at the end of 2022.

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NHS guidance states that 95 per cent of patients attending accident and emergency departments should be admitted to hospital, transferred elsewhere or discharged within four hours.

But Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust fell well behind that target in December, when just 46 per cent of the 13,144 attendances at type 1 A&E departments were dealt with within four hours, according to figures from NHS England.

It means 54 per cent of patients attending major A&E at Oxford University Hospitals Trust waited longer than four hours to be seen last month, compared to 50 per cent in November, and 35 per cent in December 2021.

Type 1 departments are those which provide major emergency services – with full resuscitation equipment and 24-hour consultant-led care – and account for most attendances nationally.

Including the 2,229 attendances at other accident and emergency departments, such as minor A&Es and those with single specialties, 54 per cent of A&E patients were seen by the trust within the target time in December.

The 95 per cent standard has not been met across the NHS in England since July 2015 – and last month, just 65 per cent of A&E attendances were admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours, marking the worst performance on record.

This compared to 73 per cent in December 2021 and 80 per cent in December 2020.

Performance was worse in type 1 departments, where just 50 per cent of patients were seen within the target time in December, down from 61 per cent during the same month last year, and 72 per cent two years earlier.

Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at the King’s Fund, said: “Since modern records began, A&E performance is the worst it has ever been and not a single NHS trust in the country is managing to meet the national target to be seen within four hours.

NHS medical director Stephen Powis said staff are continuing to work hard in the face of "extreme pressures”.

At Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in December, there were 1,107 booked appointments – up from 1,099 in November.

Additionally, 1,609 patients waited longer than four hours for treatment following a decision to admit.

Of those, three were delayed by more than 12 hours.


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

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