Nearly two-thirds of A&E arrivals in the University Hospitals of Bristol and Weston seen within four hours – missing NHS target

Nearly two-thirds of people who arrived at A&E in the University Hospitals of Bristol and Weston were seen within four hours last month, new figures show – missing the NHS recovery target.
General view of an Accident and Emergency Sign at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. General view of an Accident and Emergency Sign at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.
General view of an Accident and Emergency Sign at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

Nearly two-thirds of people who arrived at A&E in the University Hospitals of Bristol and Weston were seen within four hours last month, new figures show – missing the NHS recovery target.

The NHS standard is for 95% of patients to be seen within four hours. However, the Government announced a two-year plan to stabilise NHS services earlier this year which set a recovery target of 76% of patients being seen within four hours by March 2024.

NHS England figures show there were 17,914 visits to A&E at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust in October. Of them, 11,594 were seen within four hours – accounting for 65% of arrivals.

It means University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust fell significantly short of the recovery target and the NHS standard.

Across England, some 70% of patients were seen within four hours in A&Es last month, down from 72% in September. The figure hit a record low of 65% in December 2022.

The numbers also show 44,655 people waited over 12 hours in A&E departments from a decision to admit to actually being admitted, up 35% from September.

At University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, 1,617 patients waited longer than four hours, including 276 who were delayed by more than 12 hours.

Health think tank The King’s Fund, said this winter will be "bleak" for the NHS, particularly as it faces high levels of flu and Covid-19 in the coming weeks.

Danielle Jefferies, senior analyst at the think tank, added the number of people waiting more than four hours to be seen is "far from the performance standards patients would expect".

She said: "To get the sector back on track in the longer term and break the cycle of ‘bad’ winters, bold action by government and national leaders will be necessary."

"This includes action to make health and care a more attractive career, bolstering out-of-hospital care such as primary, community and social care services, and helping people live healthier lives through a focus on prevention."

NHS England said A&E department had the busiest October on record as 2.2 million people attended accident and emergency departments.

The overall number of attendances to A&E at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust in October was a rise of 7% on the 16,807 visits recorded during September, and 6% more than the 16,888 patients seen in October 2022.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: "Today’s figures are a stark reminder of the ongoing pressures the NHS is facing, particularly in emergency care with significant demand for ambulances and A&E, as we head into what we are expecting to be another challenging winter in the health service."

He added local areas are prioritising urgent and emergency care as strikes have had a significant impact on staff and patients.

"And as ever, the public can help play their part this winter by getting their flu and Covid-19 vaccinations when eligible," he added.