A report on BBC News this morning suggests that record numbers of patients spent more than four hours in accident and emergency units in England in January.
During a difficult winter for the NHS, January appears to be the worst performing month since the four-hour target was introduced.
The figures also suggest record numbers of people waited longer than 12 hours for a hospital bed once seen in A&E.
The figures come from a document compiled by NHS Improvement, a regulator in England. It appears to show that from a total of more than 1.4million attendances at A&E during January:
- 82% of patients in A&E - rather than the target 95% - were seen, admitted or discharged within four hours.
- More than 60,000 people waited between four and 12 hours in A&E for a hospital bed, after a decision to admit, known as a 'trolley wait'.
- More than 780 people waited for more than 12 hours for a bed.
These are the worst monthly figures on record since the four-hour target was introduced in 2004.
In January 2016, more than 51,000 people had 'trolley waits' of between four and 12 hours and 158 people had waits of more than 12 hours.
Every 24 hours the NHS sees 1million patients, and with 1.7million members staff it's the fifth biggest employer in the world. Today’s figures further demonstrate the strain it is operating under.