More than 2 million people waited more than four hours to be seen at Accident and Emergency departments in 2015/2016 and the number of people waiting more than twelve hours has more than doubled since 2013/14 to 185,017.
After spending the weekend in hiding after the appalling deaths at the Worcestershire Royal A&E Jeremy Hunt told parliament that he wants to condemn millions of patients to indefinite A&E waits by scrapping the 4 hour A&E target for all but the most “urgent” of emergency cases.
One of the main problems with this attempt to row back on one of the most important guarantees of NHS patient care is how the term“urgent” is defined. Anyone with the remotest understanding of the health service will know that the true urgency of cases can’t be determined by a quick glance by a receptionist. The whole point of having a 4 hour commitment is so the seriousness of people’s injuries/illnesses can be assessed by a qualified doctor in a timely manner.