This morning NHS England released figures on how A&E departments performed during October - December 2014.
These figures include the number of people attending all A&E types, including Minor Injury Units and Walk-in Centres, and of these, the number discharged, admitted or transferred within four hours of arrival.
They also include the number of emergency admissions, and any waits of over four hours for admission following decision to admit.
In response to these figures our Chair, Anna Bradley, said:
“Today's figures tell us nothing that isn't already plainly obvious to anyone who has visited an A&E department recently. Our hospitals are under huge pressure and even with extra money and staff working flat out, they are struggling to cope.
“But the problem won’t go away until patients are given a viable and more attractive alternative for out-of-hours or more immediate care needs.
“In Gloucestershire, for example, nearly 1 in 3 of those turning up are doing so with non-urgent needs, the question is why? Is it all down to problems getting a GP appointment, is NHS 111 simply referring too many cases to A&E that could be sent elsewhere?
“It’s time NHS bosses stopped telling people they are going to the ‘wrong place’ and did more to understand why patients are resorting to A&E and address the underlying issues.”