DAUK in The Independent: the Government must be held accountable for the worst A&E times on record as doctors ‘work themselves into the ground’
A&E waiting times hit their worst-ever level in December, amid growing pressures on the NHS, new figures show.
One in five who attended an accident and emergency unit last month were forced to wait more than four hours, the target time the government aims for 95 per cent of patients to be seen in.
Of those, more than 2,000 people waited upwards of 12 hours for a hospital bed, a huge rise on the 284 who endured similar wait times in December 2018.
Dr Rinesh Parmar, chair of The Doctors’ Association UK, which campaigns for improved working conditions for doctors, warned the latest wait time figures came as a “direct result of years of underfunding”.
“These figures, the worst on record, will sadly not come as a surprise to frontline doctors, who are working themselves into the ground to keep patients safe this winter.
“Poor morale and spiralling workloads have contributed to a staffing crisis in emergency medicine with A&E doctors showing the highest level of burnout across all specialities.
“Doctors and our nursing colleagues are doing their utmost under very trying circumstances and it is the government who must be held to account for these latest performance figures.”