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Admissions up in busy week for A&E

There has been a rise in the number of people being admitted to hospital in an emergency following a "very busy" week for A&E.

Data from NHS England revealed there were 106,230 emergency admissions across England in the week ending February 9, up from 105,053 the week before.

In the same week in 2013, there were 100,834 emergency admissions.

Overall, 418,838 people attended A&E last week. The NHS missed its target of treating 95% of patients within four hours, instead hitting 94.3%.

The figures cover all centres - major A&Es, smaller minor injury units and NHS urgent care centres.

Today's report said: "Emergency admissions increased again last week and remain at a consistently higher level than previous years.

"This has impacted on the number of long waits for admission, which included 33 12-hour waits."

Today's report showed a fall in the number of delays in ambulances handing patients over to A&E. There was a rise in the number of beds made unavailable due to delays in transferring people out of hospital, from 2,811 to 3,024 per day on average.

Dr Sarah Pinto-Duschinsky, director of operations and delivery for NHS England, said: "Last week was very busy, with 418,838 attendances and 106,230 emergency admissions - a high number of emergency admissions for this time of year.

"This is in line with the emerging trend which has seen a 31% rise in number of people needing emergency admission to hospital over the last 10 years.

"It is, of course, disappointing that any patient has to wait longer than they should in A&E. However, we are now seeing many more patients than ever before so whilst we have not achieved the 95% standard this week, it is important to stress that overall NHS continues to deliver a good service."

She said the 33 patients who waited longer than 12 hours from the time a decision was taken to admit them to there being a bed available occurred in just a few areas .

"Twenty of these patients were treated at the Princess Royal University Hospital," she said.

"The management of this hospital has been recently taken over by King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust who are putting in place a range of measures to improve the A&E service and reduce waiting times for patients.

"There were 10 patients who waited 12 hours from the time of the decision to admit them to there being a suitable bed available at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust. Again, measures are being put in place locally to reduce waiting times for patients."

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