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Rise in failure to meet A&E target

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There has been a slight drop in performance on the government’s four-hour A&E target, latest figures show.

Across all A&E departments provided by the NHS, 97.9% of patients spent four hours or less from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge, according to Department of Health figures for the 12 months ending in March.

The figure for 2006–2007 was 98.2%. For major A&E departments only, the percentages were 97% and 97.5% respectively.

An RCN survey, revealed at this year’s congress, found that 90% of A&E nurses had felt pressurised to meet the target and 78% felt that care had been compromised or rushed to meet it (NT News, 6 May, p6).

There were 18.9 million attendances at NHS A&E departments during the last financial year. Of these,
13.4 million attended major A&E departments.

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