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England NHS misses A&E target

The NHS in England has missed its A&E target two weeks running, new figures show.

The national target of seeing and treating, transferring or admitting 95% of patients in four hours was missed for the last fortnight, new NHS England statistics show.

The figure, which includes all major A&Es, minor injuries units and walk-in centres, dipped to 93.8% for the week ending September 7.

Meanwhile, the proportion of people seen in this time frame in major, or type 1, A&E departments, which deal with the most complex cases, stood at 90.9%. This figure alone is not subject to any NHS targets but contributes to the overall figure.

The figures also show that 5,230 A&E patients who were deemed ill enough to be admitted to hospital waited between four and 12 hours before they were given a bed.

Nine patients waited longer than 12 hours.

Barbara Hakin, national director for commissioning operations at NHS England, said: "We know our staff are doing everything to make sure patients are treated on time. A&E departments are under pressure but we are determined to maintain the high standards that the public rightly expect.

"The 95% standard is measured on average over each quarter and this week's result is a clear signal we must focus on maintaining performance as the weather starts to cool."

Labour's shadow health minister Jamie Reed said: "These figures should set alarm bells ringing in Downing Street - they are getting worse by the week and David Cameron is still in denial.

"What greater sign could there be of a struggling NHS than thousands of patients waiting hours on end for beds to become free? They are being badly let down.

"A&E departments already look like it's the middle of winter. Ministers must put an end to this and ensure hospitals are safe."

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "We know the NHS is under pressure however the vast majority of people are seen and treated quickly.

"We're giving the NHS extra support to keep services sustainable year-round and in the long-term, we want to reduce demand by looking after people better in the community."

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