NHS England records worst performance for second month in a row

The NHS in England has suffered its worst ever performance, for the second successive month, in February.

As in January, hundreds of thousands of patients were forced to wait longer than they should for time-critical care as the NHS missed almost all its key waiting time targets. The NHS said that A&E departments had had to cope with flu cases peaking later than in the previous winter. Labour said the figures showed a health service “on its knees and in crisis”.

Official statistics, published on Thursday, show that hospital A&E departments kept 224,116 patients waiting more than the maximum four hours to be admitted, transferred or discharged, compared with 212,136 in January and 131,248 in February last year.

They only treated 81.6% of patients within four hours, way below the 95% standard they are meant to achieve. The worrying figures were recorded despite England and Wales being on track to record its warmest ever winter.

Full story in The Guardian 15 April 2016