TWO-THIRDS of people who arrived at accident and emergency at a York hospital trust were seen within four hours in February, new figures show – missing the NHS recovery target.

NHS England figures show there were 19,273 visits to A&E at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in February. Of them, 13,278 were seen within four hours – accounting for 69 per cent of arrivals.

It means the York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust fell short of the recovery target and was significantly behind the NHS standard.

A trust spokesperson apologised for the delays and said York and Scarborough hospitals experienced a high number of patients in emergency departments during February.

The NHS standard is for 95 per cent of patients to be seen within four hours. But the government announced a two-year plan to stabilise NHS services earlier this year which set a recovery target of 76 per cent of patients being seen within four hours by March 2024.

York Press: York HospitalYork Hospital (Image: Newsquest)

At the York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, 1,643 patients waited longer than four hours for an emergency admission, including 794 who were delayed by more than 12 hours.

A trust spokesperson said: “During February, we had a high number of patients in our emergency departments awaiting admission, we have also experienced ongoing pressures with being able to discharge patients to their place of residence if they require any additional support, these two elements combined mean we were simply not discharging patients in high enough numbers to create the capacity we needed. 

“This meant some patients had to wait a long time before they received treatment, and we are sorry for this.

“Like hospitals across the country, our emergency departments continue to be very busy, and we urge people to help us by using alternatives such as NHS 111 if they are unsure whether to go to the emergency department. 

“This will ensure that when people need help, they are guided to the best possible care and treatment for their needs.  NHS 111 is available by calling 111, free on landlines and mobiles, or by going online to"

Number of patients in A&E at trust up 15 per cent from last year

The overall number of attendances to A&E at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in February was a drop of three per cent on the 19,942 visits recorded during January, but 15 per cent more than the 16,739 patients seen in February 2022.

Across England, some 71 per cent of patients were admitted, transferred or discharged from A&E within four hours last month, up slightly from 70 per cent in January. The figure hit a record low of 65 per cent in December 2022.

In February, 44,417 emergency admissions in A&E departments – including specialty departments and minor injury units – waited more than 12 hours from a decision to admit to actually being admitted. It was down from 54,308 in January, which was the second highest figure on record.