Published: 12:01, 12 July 2019
| Updated: 13:06, 12 July 2019
More than 9,000 patients waited four or more hours to be seen at A&E departments at Kent hospitals in one month.
Across the county, 56,906 people visited such departments last month, meaning 16% waited longer than the government’s four hour target.
This is the eighth highest figure in England and almost three times higher than it was at the hospital this time last year.
At East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the William Harvey in Ashford, and the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, saw 3,604 people spend four or more hours in A&E out of 19,377 - which equates to 19%.
In June last year that figure was just 17%. The trust manages others sites, which do not have A&E departments.
Last month 1,809 people out of 11,118 waited over the four hours at Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford the trust's single A&E location.
This is a vast improvement on June last year, which saw 19% spending at least four hours in the department.
Harvey McEnroe, chief operating officer at Medway NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Like many hospitals, we experience a high number of people coming to our emergency department and I would like to apologise to any patients who have faced a longer wait for treatment in recent weeks.
"At Medway, our emergency department streams minor injuries and conditions to other services on our site such as the GP-led MedOCC service.
"Unfortunately, recently, the standard of performance in MedOCC is not to the level we would expect and this has impacted upon our overall performance but we are working to address these issues.
"We are working to get patients home more quickly when they are ready to leave us, as better patient flow frees up beds for new arrivals and reduces pressure in the A&E department.
"We have made some positive progress in this area, with patients in Medway recently seeing the shortest waiting times for transfers of care in the south east.
"The recent opening of our same day emergency care centre will also ultimately assist with A&E performance.
"However, we know we still have more to do to consistently provide patients with the emergency care they deserve, and this remains our main focus."
Statistics on A&E attendances and emergency admissions are published monthly by NHS England and are open for the public to view.
More by this authorRebecca Tuffin
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