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East Kent Hospitals lowest number of A&E patients seen within four hours in Kent

By Ellis Stephenson

A&E staff are still struggling to see patients within four hours, it has emerged.

Last month, the East Kent Hospitals trust treated 73.8% of emergency patients within four hours.

Although this was up from the January figure of 69.3%, it still falls well short of the 95% target.

The A&E at the William Harvey.
The A&E at the William Harvey.

According to the data from NHS England, the second-worst trust in Kent for seeing people within four hours last month was Medway with 78.2%.

At the beginning of the year, Medway Maritime Hospital saw 76.9% of its emergency attendees within the recommended time frame.

The Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust improved marginally to a rate of 82.9% last month, compared to 82.7% in January.

Meanwhile, 89.9% of emergency cases were seen on time at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust hospitals. In January, that number was 85.3%.

February proved to be a difficult month for the NHS, which had to cope with challenges presented by heavy snowfall and ice.

A spokesman for the East Kent Hospitals Trust said: "Staff are working hard to improve waiting times for patients.

"We are making a number of changes within our emergency departments and throughout our hospitals to make sure more patients can be treated, admitted or discharged within four hours of arriving at A&E.

"These include making beds available more quickly for people in A&E who need admitting to hospital.

"We are making positive progress, but the last couple of weeks have been very busy for the NHS due to the number of people affected by the recent cold and icy weather.

"We are reminding people to get to know their local health services so they can use services wisely.

"For example, local minor injury units can provide fast treatment for a range of illnesses and injuries, while local pharmacists can give early advice to help nip health problems in the bud."

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