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A&E waiting times improve, but still fail to hit targets

Accident and emergency waiting times have hit their lowest point in almost eight months - but still failed to meet the target of 95 per cent of patients seen within four hours, the latest figures show.

A&E waiting times improved slightly Credit: PA

Last week, 94.2 per cent of patients were seen within the target time, up from 93.4 per cent the week before and the best performance since September.

The figures, from NHS England, also show the number of A&E visits dropped slightly, down from 444,400 to 440,700.

There were only four patients who had to wait more than 12 hours between the decision to admit and admission, down from 13 the previous week.


Witness: I thought Kent earthquake was an 'explosion'

A witness of the earthquake in Kent in the early hours of this morning has described how he thought it was an "explosion".

He added: "Lying in bed when the house suddenly shook. Thought something had collapsed outside, so got up to check.

"I've looked outside and all appears to be fine in the street. No damage that I can see. Will obviously see more later when it's lighter. Weird experience anyway.

"I actually thought it was an explosion of some sort and not an earthquake."

Residents: Kent earthquake 'scared the life out of me!'

Kent residents have tweeted their reactions after being awoken by the tremors in the early hours of this morning.

Vikki Petts said: "So we just had a 4.3 magnitude earthquake in Kent and my housemates slept through the entire thing. certainly woke me up!"

Jonathan Tapp said: "Earthquake in East Kent and now can't get back to sleep. Despite months spent in NZ this is my first one that I've felt."


Cameron 'determined' to deliver EU reform for Britain

David Cameron is meeting European leaders today for the first time since securing his re-election.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, the prime minister said it was an opportunity to start some of the discussions about the reform of the European Union.

"There will be ups and downs, you'll hear one day this is possible, the next day something else is impossible".

He added that one thing that will be constant is his "determination to deliver for the British people a reform of the European Union so they get a proper choice in that referendum".

Mother faces sentence after cremating son's body

A bereaved mother is to be sentenced later after she falsified documents amid accusations of cremating her son's body without the knowledge of his father.

Cathleen Hackney was convicted at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court last month of signing a false certificate and making a false representation with a view to procuring the burning of human remains.

Hackney, of Park View Close, Blurton, was cleared of a third charge brought under the 1902 Cremations Act.

A four-day trial heard that the 56-year-old "slotted in" the body of Paul Moreland for an early cremation service after a dispute with her ex-husband. Mr Moreland, who had a long-standing health condition, died in hospital in November 2010 aged 32. Hackney is due to be sentenced at the same court this afternoon.

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