The number of patients waiting 12 or more hours in Huddersfield and Calderdale A&Es has rocketed in four years.

The number of patients left waiting for half a day or more rose sharply from 22 in 2011/12 to 108 in 2015/16.

That’s just short of a five-fold increase, according to official figures published by NHS Digital.

Over the period the proportion of people spending 12 hours or more in A&E has grown from one in 6,146 attendances (0.02%) to one in 1,341 (0.07%).

Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust, which runs Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax, said less serious cases were having to wait so doctors could deal with critically ill patients.

Trust Head of Emergency Care Dr Mark Davies said: “Every trust in the country is seeing rising numbers of patients, especially elderly patients, and we are all trying to deliver care with is timely and appropriate.

Dr Mark Davies

“Obviously the most urgent conditions will be seen first which may involve longer waits for patients with less serious conditions.”

Dr Davies repeated the trust’s call for those with non-urgent conditions to seek help from the NHS by dialling 111 or use other services.

 

He said: “Members of the public can also assist by using their A&E for serious conditions and emergencies only.”

Across England last year, there were 185,017 A&E attendances of longer than 12 hours compared to 48,128 in 2011/12.

Those aged 90 and over are the most likely to spend 12 hours or more in A&E, with one in 24 attendances by this age group lasting 12 hours or more (4.1%).

This is up from one in 73 attendances (1.38%) in 2011/12. This possibly reflects the more complex needs of older people, meaning they may be more likely to need to be admitted, as well as increasing pressures in terms of finding beds for them.

There were 20.5 million attendances recorded at Accident and Emergency in England during 2015/16. This was up 4.6% from 19.3m in 2014/15.