Hospitals only treated 83% of A&E patients within four hours, way below the 95% standard they are meant to achieve [Image: Islandstock / Alamy/Alamy].

No doubt David Cameron will still protest that the English NHS is better than Wales – even though it should now be obvious to everyone that it isn’t.

If you want proof, look at the cancer treatment statistics. In Wales, cancer treatment is of a very high standard.

The NHS recorded its worst ever performance in in the first month of the year as services struggled to cope with unprecedented demand for A&E care, hospital beds and emergency ambulances.

Hundreds of thousands of patients were forced to wait longer than they should for time-critical care.

The latest monthly performance data released on Thursday by NHS England show how hospitals buckled badly during January, partly because the traditional “winter pressures” arrived later than usual.

A total of 212,136 patients waited more than the maximum four hours to be admitted, transferred or discharged from hospital A&E units – the highest number ever. Hospitals only treated 83% of A&E patients within four hours, way below the 95% standard they are meant to achieve.

Similarly, the largest number of patients ever – 263,445 – waited more than the supposed maximum of 18 weeks to have planned care in hospital, such as a hernia or cataract operation.

Record numbers of cancer patients were also not seen within NHS-wide time limits, with hospitals breaching two of the eight waiting time targets covering the disease.

Only 81% of people referred by their GP to have a first treatment for cancer within 62 days got that – it should be 85%.

And cancer services also failed to ensure that 93% of patients with suspected breast cancer saw a consultant for the first time within two weeks, only managing 92.4% against that standard.

Source: NHS records worst ever performance figures | Society | The Guardian

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