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Worst A&E performance on record

A&E performance was the worst on record in the last financial year as patient waiting times increased and targets for ambulances and diagnostic tests were missed, new NHS England figures show.

A total of 88 per cent of patients were seen within four hours, down from 88.3 per cent in 2017-18 and 89.1 per cent in 2016-17.

Eighty-seven per cent of the 4.1 million patients on the referral to treatment waiting list at the end of February this year had been waiting less than 18 weeks — not meeting the 92 per cent standard.

The proportion of patients waiting for six weeks or longer for one of 15 key diagnostic tests at the end of February this year was at 2.3 per cent. The operational standard is 1 per cent.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “The government has spent nine years running down the NHS, imposing the biggest funding squeeze in its history, with swingeing cuts to public health services and social care slashed by £7 billion since 2010 … only Labour can rebuild our NHS.”

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