DAUK in The Chronicle: The worrying statistics that expose record waiting times at your A&E

Figures released by NHS England show just 70.6% of people arriving at A&Es run by County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust in December waited less than four hours.

North East health chiefs have urged patients to “use services wisely” as shock figures show A&E waiting times soared this winter.

Dr Rinesh Parmar, chair of The Doctors’ Association UK and an intensive care doctor, said: “These figures, the worst on record, will sadly not come as a surprise to front-line 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.

“Emergency 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 – which is almost certainly a direct result of years of under-funding.”

BMA emergency medicine lead, Dr Simon Walsh, said: “How many wake-up calls does the Government need?