Hunt demands NHS hits target for A&E care-NewsCO

March 9, 2017

A hospital wardImage copyright

Jeremy Hunt has told NHS hospitals they must get back to meeting the target for seeing patients swiftly in A&E.

The Health Secretary told a Reform think tank meeting this was “critical for patient safety”.

The target of seeing 95% of patients in four hours has been missed in England for some time. There was a record low of 86.2% in December.

Mr Hunt demanded progress this year and said the target should be hit by March 2108, after new funding in the budget.

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced an extra £2bn for social care.

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Mr Hunt said the new money would help tackle the problem of patients who were fit to leave hospital having discharge delayed because of a lack of suitable care in the community. This is thought to have contributed to overcrowding in trusts.

The four-hour A&E target explained

  • It measures the point at which a patient arrives at A&E to when they are admitted, discharged or transferred elsewhere
  • It applies to all patients from those with life-threatening emergencies to minor ailments
  • Hospitals are meant to achieve the four-hour target in 95% of cases
  • The last time it was met was July 2015

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