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Target figures for A&E, Cancer & Operations are being missed by nearly all hospital trusts throughout the past year. Nationally England, Wales and Northern Ireland have not hit one of their three key targets for 18 months.
The three targets measured are: Four-hour A&E waiting times, 62 day cancer care and planned operations and treatment.
The figures collated by the BBC highlight that of the 135 hospital trusts across England, only one service – Luton & Dunstable NHS Trust has managed to hit each of the three targets each time over the past 12 months.
The figures also illustrate key differences amongst the NHS Trusts showing that treatment and patient outcomes are therefore likely to be impacted by where the patient lives. The disparity of waiting times experienced by patients exposes the various NHS Hospital Trusts to the potential of hospital negligence claims especially in instances where the delay has resulted in increased suffering or a delayed diagnosis, opening up the potential for a delayed diagnosis claim.
The below NHS Trusts missed their targets throughout the entire year:
The findings by the BBC also highlight how patients in A&E are twice as likely to have to wait over 4 hours than they were four years ago, with 11% of all patients experiencing these waiting times, no doubt driven in part by the increasing numbers of patients using the services of A&E compared to the same period previously.
The proportion of people waiting over the 62 day target time for cancer treatment has increased by a third over the past four years which may impact the overall treatment and recovery of patients in certain cases. In instances where treatment has been delayed and the patient outcome has been effected as a result, patients may be entitled to pursue a cancer misdiagnosis claim.
Finally, the latest figures highlight that roughly 12% of patients wait longer than they should for planned operations and treatment such as a hip replacement. As well as additional stress, delayed treatment in these instances may still have an adverse impact on patient recovery leading to a potential increase in medical negligence claims from those who outcomes have been impaired as a direct result.
The figures come at a time when warnings have been issued about the strain that the forthcoming winter season may have on the NHS suggesting that it is unlikely these targets will be met in the immediate future.