Thursday 11 April 2019 / 11:50 AM Jonathan Ashworth / NHS

Worst A&E stats on record – Jon Ashworth responds

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, commenting on the latest NHS performance and quarter four statistics published today showing the worst A&E performance on record, said:

“Tory mismanagement of the NHS has led to the worst annual A&E performance on record.  Patients are being forced to wait longer in pain and distress, and this seriously risks their health deteriorating further.

“Today’s stats also show that last month, the number of patients waiting for treatment increased, some key ambulance targets weren’t met, and the target for patients receiving diagnostic tests were also missed.

“The government has spent nine years running down the NHS, imposing the biggest funding squeeze in its history, with swingeing cuts to public health services and social care slashed by £7 billion since 2010.

“The NHS is clearly buckling under pressure as a result, and standards of care continue to plummet under the Tories. Only Labour can rebuild our NHS.”



Notes to editors


  • The annual A&E performance for 2018-19 was the worst on-record: 88% of patients were seen within four hours, down from 88.3% in 2017/18 and 89.1% in 2016/17 (Source for quarter four data: NHS England).
  • The number of RTT patients waiting to start treatment at the end of February 2019 was 4.1 million. The waiting list increased by 7.3% over February 2018.
  • Referral to treatment (RTT): of patients on the waiting list at the end of February 2019, 87.0% had been waiting less than 18 weeks – not meeting the 92% standard.
  • On ambulance waiting times, the C1 average met the standard of 7 minutes for the first time. The C2 average failed to meet its standard of 18 minutes.
  • 3% of the patients waiting for one of the 15 key diagnostic tests at the end of February 2019 had been waiting six weeks or longer from referral – not meeting the operational standard of 1% (Source for all NHS combined performance statistics: NHS England)