When are the busiest times of the week at Buckinghamshire hospitals' A&E?

More and more patients are waiting over four hours to be admitted
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The busiest and quietest times of the week for accident and emergency services at Buckinghamshire Healthcare over the last year have been revealed.

It comes as A&Es across England are at breaking point, with attendance reaching pre-pandemic levels in November and a record proportion of patients facing waits of more than four hours.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced an additional £3.3 billion in NHS funding to deal with increased demand and soaring inflation, but health think tank the Nuffield Trust said it is too late "to have a meaningful impact this year".

Patients waiting for over four hours has reached a proportional high, photo by Liam McBurney/PA ImagesPatients waiting for over four hours has reached a proportional high, photo by Liam McBurney/PA Images
Patients waiting for over four hours has reached a proportional high, photo by Liam McBurney/PA Images

NHS Digital figures show that the worst hour of the week to visit A&E at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust was between 12am and 1am on Tuesdays in the year to March.

Patients waited an average of seven hours and 29 minutes to be either admitted to an inpatient ward, transferred elsewhere or discharged from hospital.

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Meanwhile, the shortest waits were between 9am and 10am on Tuesdays, when patients waited an average of three hours and 42 minutes.

Of the seven days of the week, Tuesday was the worst day overall to visit A&E at Buckinghamshire Healthcare, with patients waiting an average of five hours and 15 minutes, while Sunday was the best, when the average wait time dropped to four hours and 53 minutes.

Monday saw the highest average number of patients attending across the year, while Saturday saw the lowest.

The figures come as the NHS deals with increasing pressures during the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Separate NHS England figures show more than 30% of patients waited more than four hours to be seen at A&Es across England in November – a new record for the third month in succession.

The Nuffield Trust said a significant factor is the growing number of patients taking up hospital beds as they wait to be discharged because support from health and care social services outside of hospital is not ready.

Jessica Morris, fellow at the Nuffield Trust, said: "While the Government has now confirmed when the NHS will see some additional funding to tackle these delays, it is too late in the day to have a meaningful impact this year.

"Patients with no choice but to stay in hospital beds when they are medically fit enough to be cared for elsewhere is a serious problem for both the patients and NHS staff across the system."

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said he is supporting staff by "investing record amounts into health and social care, including committing an additional £8 billion for health and social care in 2024-25".Mr Barclay added that some 7,000 extra beds will also be created and £500 million funding will see 24-7 support centres will be rolled out across England, "speeding up discharge from hospital and helping to ease pressures and get patients treated and out of hospital faster."

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