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A&E target missed for 30th week

The proportion of patients seen within four hours at A&E departments in England has failed to meet the target of 95% for the 30th week in a row.

NHS England said 94.3% of patients spent four hours or less from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge last week. This was up from 93.3% the previous week.

The 95% target has not been met since the week ending September 28, but today's figure is the closest it has got to it since the week ending October 5, when 94.5% patients were seen within the time frame.

Dr Barbara Hakin, national director of commissioning operations for NHS England, said: "These latest performance figures are a great credit to everyone given the continuing pressure on the service."

There were 434,500 attendances in A&E, up slightly on the previous week when there 434, 400.

The number of people waiting for more than four hours was 5,500 - down from 6,700 a week earlier.

Two people spent more than 12 hours waiting from decision to admit to admission. In the week ending January 4 - during the busy new year period - nearly 250 patients had to wait longer than this.

There were 105,300 emergency admissions - up on the 104,900 in the previous week.

NHS England also released its latest figures for its NHS 111 phone line service.

Nearly 1.1 million calls were received in March , representing 36,700 a day, similar to that in February.

Of calls answered, 92.1% were done so within 60 seconds, fewer than in February (93.2%) and the average for 2014 (92.9%).

An NHS England spokesman said: "NHS 111 handled more than 1.1 million calls in February, with 92% of those being answered in under 60 seconds.

"The service continues to do an excellent job in supporting patients and in terms of protecting both A&E and ambulance services from unnecessary attendances and call outs.

"Of the calls NHS 111 triaged just 11% led to an ambulance being dispatched and only 8% of patients were recommended to attend A&E."

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