Nearly all people who arrived at A&E in Gloucestershire Health and Care were seen within four hours last month, new figures show – surpassing the NHS recovery target.
The NHS standard is for 95% of patients to be seen within four hours. However, the Government announced a two-year plan to stabilise NHS services earlier this year which set a recovery target of 76% of patients being seen within four hours by March 2024.
NHS England figures show there were 6,586 visits to A&E at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust in September. Of them, 6,559 were seen within four hours – accounting for nearly all arrivals.
It means Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust met both the recovery target and the NHS standard.
Across England, some 72% of patients were admitted, transferred or discharged from A&E within four hours last month, down from 73% in August. The figure hit a record low of 65% in December 2022.
In September, 33,107 arrivals in A&E waited more than 12 hours from a decision to admit to actually being admitted – up 15% from August. None of these patients were at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.
Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at the health think tank The King's Fund, said A&E departments have had a busy summer and are now facing a "punishing winter".
He added: "A combination of thinking long term about improving people’s access to out-of-hospital care, making health and social care a more attractive career, and tackling the biggest risk factors affecting people’s health, is what will slowly reverse the decline in NHS performance.
Dr Tim Cooksley, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said NHS acute care services continued to be under "immense strain" with clinicians expecting the coming months to be as "chaotic and challenging" as last winter.
The overall number of attendances to minor injury units at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust in September was a rise of 4% on the 6,346 visits recorded during August, and 23% more than the 5,358 patients seen in September 2022.
Across England, A&E departments received 2.2 million visits last month – up slightly from August, and an 8% jump from the number of visits seen in September 2022.
NHS England said last month was the busiest September ever for A&E attendance as industrial action and high levels of demand have piled pressure on services.
Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said despite the pressure, the figures show NHS staff are "working incredibly hard to deliver for patients".
He added the health service delivered on its ambition to roll out 10,000 virtual ward beds by the end of September.
More than 240,000 patients have now been treated on virtual wards, the NHS said, adding that research shows people who are treated at home recover at the same rate or faster than those in hospital.