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NHS targets missed.

The NHS is missing many of its key targets with more patients getting stuck in hospital, latest figures show.

New data from NHS England in autumn 2015 showed the health service missed its A&E target to see, treat or discharge patients within four hours.

Performance also fell short on access to cancer treatment, diagnostic tests and ambulance response times. Hospitals have also been struggling to discharge patients when they are ready to leave.

Snapshot research showed that more than 5,000 patients in England were occupying beds, even though they could have been discharged, the worst performance since records began in 2010.

The logjam was caused by problems accessing social care services, such as help at home.

Elsewhere, the NHS has also missed the four-hour A&E targets everywhere.

The research also showed that ambulances missed their target to answer 75 per cent of the most serious 999 calls in eight minutes and that 1.9 per cent of patients had been waiting more than six weeks for diagnostic tests - nearly twice the level that should face such delays.

Meanwhile, one of the key cancer benchmarks - the 62-day target for treatment to start - was missed with nearly one-in-five patients waiting longer.

The NHS 111 phone service also missed its target to answer 95 per cent of calls within 60 seconds.                           

However, NHS in England did meet some targets with six of the eight cancer measures being achieved, while the 18-week target for patients to be seen for non-emergency operations, such as knee and hip replacements, was also met.

Health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said: "The NHS frontline is under a huge amount of pressure but we have a very good NHS plan being backed by the government financially on the back of a strong economy and, as we implement it, we're confident we can turn these numbers around.

"Winter is always difficult but staff are working incredibly hard on the frontline and we should remember that nine out 10 people are being seen, treated and discharged within four hours."

 

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