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Andy Burnham hits out at 'worst A&E week in years'

Figures showing the "worst week in A&E in many years" proves the Government is out of touch with the "seriousness of the situation" in the NHS, Andy Burnham has claimed.

Andy Burnham, Labour's shadow health secretary. Credit: PA Wire

"These figures show he [David Cameron] is completely out of touch and does not have a grip on the seriousness of the situation now unfolding in the NHS," the shadow health secretary said.

“This was the worst week in A&E in many years. All over England, emergency services are stretched to the limit. Seriously ill people are waiting hours for ambulances to arrive or on trolleys in hospital corridors. This is before the winter has begun in earnest."

"It is now a serious situation and the Government’s complacency is becoming dangerous.

"It proves they can’t be trusted with the NHS."

Nearly half of Brits think NHS 'is getting worse'

Nearly half of all Britons believe the NHS is getting worse, a ComRes/ITV News Index poll suggests.

Hospitals in England have admitted more people this week than in any previous week on record. Credit: PA Wire

Some 45% say the quality of care in the health service is getting worse, with around 46% also claiming the ease of access of local services such as GPs and A&Es is deteriorating.

One in four of the 2,069 British adults interviewed said they have experienced unacceptably poor standards of care in the NHS.

Around 65% said they did not think the NHS gets the support it needs from the Government.

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More A&E patients failing to be seen within four hours

The number of patients being seen within four hours in A&E departments is down significantly on the same period four years ago, NHS figures show.

Fewer than 90% of patients were seen within four hours or less in A&E departments in the seven days up to 14 December.

In a comparable week in December 2010, 94.4% of patients were seen within four hours or less.

Health officials have warned that A&E services are under increasing pressure. Credit: PA Wire

The percentage is down also from 92.1% in the same week last year.

The figures come after a ComRes/ITV News poll found that 81% of British adults believe it is unacceptable to wait longer than four hours to be seen in A&E.

Some 28% of Britons blame the Government for missing A&E waiting times targets, with 71% believing the department is underfunded.

Public urged to 'nip problems in bud' amid NHS pressure

People are being encouraged to "nip problems in the bud" to avoid going to hospital over the Christmas period.

NHS England said record numbers of emergency patients were admitted last week, with health officials claiming the pressure on A&E services is increasing significantly.

Patients have been told to avoid going to A&E departments this Christmas. Credit: PA Wire

"We have admitted more people to hospital this week (ending December 14) to take care of them than in any previous week on record," Dr Barbara Hakin, national director of commissioning operations for NHS England, said.

"As we come into the holiday period, it is important people continue to look after themselves and nip problems in the bud.

"They should ensure they have proper medication, get their flu jab if they have not done so, and get advice from their pharmacist."

Hospitals record 'busiest week ever' amid A&E pressure

Hospitals have admitted more people this week than in any previous week on record, NHS England said.

Pressures on A&E services continue to 'increase significantly', NHS England said. Credit: PA Wire

There were 111,062 emergency admissions in England last week - the highest number of emergency patients admitted since records began more than a decade ago.

There were also 440,428 patients attending A&E, an increase of more than 24,000 on the same week last year.

Dr Barbara Hakin of NHS England said pressures on A&E services "continue to increase significantly".

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