GWH has recorded its second worst score of the year against the national four hour A&E treatment target.

Last month, just over two-thirds (69 per cent) of emergency department patients were treated or admitted to hospital within four hours of arriving at its doors - well short of the government's 95 per cent goal.

New figures, released today by NHS England, show that 6,079 people attended the emergency department in January – with a further 7,612 attending the GWH trust-managed urgent care centre and walk-in centre.

69 per cent of ED patients were seen within the target four hours - meaning that almost 1,900 waited more than four hours for emergency care.

When urgent care centre and walk-in centre patients are factored in, GWH’s four hour score rose to 84.8 per cent. By contrast, Bath’s Royal United Hospital scored 72.3 per cent.

Nationally, in January NHS hospitals scored their worst ever performance against the four hour target. Just 77.1 per cent of patients attending A&E were seen within four hours.

The government target is for 95 per cent of patients to be seen within four hours. It was last met by the NHS in July 2015.

The new figures show that pressure at Great Western Hospital remains high – although it has eased from October last year, when GWH doctors saw a record 14,456 patients come through the doors of emergency units.

Throughout this winter, hospital managers have regularly warned of waits at the emergency department, in part caused by bed block delays elsewhere in the hospital.

Scores of routine operations and appointments were cancelled at GWH in January, after a NHS directive issued in a bid to tackle winter pressures.

Stephen Haig, a senior emergency doctor at the Marlborough Road hospital, put his name to a letter signed by 68 doctors warning that the NHS was at breaking point. The letter – addressed to prime minister Theresa May – read: “We have insufficient hospital and community beds and staff of all disciplines especially at the front door to cope with our population’s health needs.”

Responding to the latest figures, a hospital spokesman said: “All patients arriving at the Emergency Department are given an initial assessment as soon as possible and it is a testament to our hard-working teams that, even at the busiest times, nearly three quarters are still either admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.”

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