January was the second-worst month for A&E — NHS crisis

Mark Pritchard

Mark Pritchard

Justin Madders MP, Labour's shadow health minister, said Mr Hunt's comments were "startling" and show "how entirely out of touch with the reality of the NHS winter crisis Jeremy Hunt is".

Many patients also faced long delays as they were handed over from ambulance to A&E, with nearly 30,000 people waiting over an hour since the beginning of this winter. It is also the only time extremely long "trolley wait" figures have breached 1,000.

The Health Secretary went on to say that "significantly more" money would need to be invested to ensure NHS staff do not face such uphill tasks year after year, although he stated doctors and nurses were aware of the predicament they could face when they entered the sector.

In the interview with ITV he added: "In terms of pressures on the system, I think it probably is the worst ever".

"I completely recognise the pressures that they have been going through and when they signed up to go into medicine they knew there was going to be pressurised moments", he added.

"I take responsibility for everything that happens in the NHS", Hunt said. "I apologise to patients when we haven't delivered the care that we should".

The "worst flu season in years", which has claimed the lives of more than 200 people, has been blamed for piling pressure on over-stretched A&E departments.

Appleby continued: "A year ago we warned that corridors had become the new emergency wards".

"It follows the Prime Minister's freaky comment last month that cancelled operations were "part of the plan" for the NHS and that "nothing is perfect".

The national average is 85.3% for four waiting times, which higher than December 2017 and January previous year.

Instagram account dedicated to athletes looking for love on Tinder in Pyeongchang
The 700-millimeter torch represents the altitude of Pyeongchang, which is 700 meters above sea level. Fireworks explode during the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics .

Last week NHS England effectively abandoned the 95% four-hour target for at least a year, using a planning document circulated to hospital trusts to indicate it did not expect the figure to be met across the country until spring 2019.

A&E units based at hospitals managed to treat and then admit, transfer or discharge just 77.1% of arrivals within the politically important four-hour target in January.

NHS England will today confirm this winter has been among the most challenging on record.

This is from figures on NHS A&E waiting times, for January 2018, which were published on the NHS website today. It is deeply concerning that 12 months on the position has worsened, with many harrowing reports of patients being treated in busy corridors by stressed and overworked staff.

Jeremy Hunt has admitted this winter is the "worst ever" for the NHS, as latest figures show record numbers of seriously-ill patients faced delays waiting for a bed.

The county's A&E departments are still struggling to meet government targets, it has been revealed.

Only the services in the North East and West Midlands were averaging responding to these calls below seven minutes - the set limit.

Figures released by NHS England also show that 81,000 patients had to wait on trolleys in A&E for more than four hours, and more than 1,000 waited for more than 12 hours. "We need to start treating people in the community better".

'Surgeons and other frontline NHS staff are working tirelessly to provide the best care possible to patients.

'We now do not have adequate funding or capacity in our health or social care services and we need to urgently find a long-term solution'.

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