Over 7,500 patients are having to wait more than four hours in overwhelmed A&E departments at Royal United Hospital in Bath and Southmead Hospital in Bristol amid the worst NHS crisis on record, figures from the NHS can reveal.

Shockingly, today’s monthly NHS statistics revealed over 300 had to wait more than 12 hours to be admitted to accident and emergency, reflecting a dangerous collapse in A&E waiting times fuelled by staff shortages and a crisis in social care, say medical leaders.

Just over half (53%) of patients admitted were seen within 4 hours – the NHS says that 95% of patients should be admitted, transferred, or discharged in that time. That’s much less than the average for England – 71% of patients were seen by doctors within the four-hour target.

The figures show that NHS performance is the worst on record across almost all metrics and are particularly concerning because the summer period is usually relatively quiet. As the Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries, admitted, a decade of Conservative mismanagement has left the health service “wanting and inadequate”, with local people paying the price.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris warned that patients were dying because of long waits, and called for immediate support. Mayor Norris said: “There used to be Winter crises in the NHS but now it is struggling in the Summer months. Yet the government seem to have lost interest while the intense pressure on the NHS has barely featured in this increasingly farcical Tory leadership contest. I’m very worried that these delays are putting people off going to A&E who need medical help while others are left suffering in pain. The Conservative Government’s response to the crisis in A&E is to scrap the zero tolerance for 12 hour waits. That’s clearly the wrong answer. We need a Labour government to get patients treated on time by providing hardworking and caring NHS doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals with equipment and resources they need”.

There are now 6.7 million people in England on the NHS waiting list as of June 2022. This is the highest ever recorded. Nationally, the standard of 92% of people seen within 18 weeks of a referral has not been met since 2016. Now, 1 in every 9 people in England are on the NHS waiting list.

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