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Hospital waiting times worsen again

Hospital performance in England has sunk again – with new record worst waits in A&E and for hospital operations, NHS figures show.

Just 81.4% of A&E patients were seen in four hours in November – the lowest rate since the target started in 2004.

The numbers waiting for treatment, such as knee and hip replacements, also hit a new high – 4.45 million – in October.

Cancer wait times continue to be missed too. It is now over three years since any of the flagship targets were hit.

On top of the poor performance against the targets, the figures also show patients who need to be admitted on to wards are increasingly experiencing long “trolley wait” because beds cannot be found for them.

Close to 90,000 patients waited over four hours for a bed to be found in November – that is nearly double the number from two years ago and the highest on record.

This is after any wait patients have had in A&E to be seen.

More than 1,000 patients waited over 12 hours.

The figures show the scale of the challenge facing the NHS as it enters winter and comes after the state of the health service featured heavily during the election campaign.

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