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A&E waiting target missed again

The waiting time target for patients going to accident and emergency departments in England has been breached for the 29th week in a row, according to the latest figures.

NHS England said 93.3% of patients spent four hours or less from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge last week.

This was slightly up on the 92.4% on the previous week but still short of the target of 95%, which has not been met since the week ending September 28.

There were 434,400 attendances in A&E, down on the previous week when there were 443,300.

The number of people waiting for more than four hours was 6,700 - down from 7,400 a week earlier.

Nine people spent more than 12 hours waiting from decision to admit to admission.

There were 104,900 emergency admissions - up on the 102,200 in the previous week and the 101,300 for the same week last year.

An NHS England spokesman said: "It is good to see another improved performance by A&E this week."

NHS England said there were 4,946 delayed transfers of care - where patients are ready to return home or transfer to another form of care but still occupy a bed - in March, the same number as in February.

The number of urgent operations cancelled was 317 last month, slightly fewer than the 375 in February but more than the 232 in March 2014.

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