A&E’s under strain following closures


New figures have revealed the increasing strain London’s Accident and Emergency departments are facing. The increased pressure on A&Es follows the closure of wards across the capital. In the past year 199,693 people were forced to wait more than four hours at A&E in London, this is an increase of 18% on the previous year when 168,604 people waited more than four hours. In the City of Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham the local A&E units at Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary’s hospital has seen 10,246 people wait more than four hours over the past year.  

So far in London two A&E units have been closed, two are to be “downgraded”, three are set to be closed and a further three are under threat of closure. In the past year all but one of London’s Hospital Trusts with A&Es failed to meet the key waiting time target of 95% of patients seen with 4 hours. In 15 out of 22 trusts this target was missed for over half of the last year. Murad Qureshi, Labour London wide Assembly Member, is calling on the Health Secretary to urgently review the situation, and for the Mayor to lobby government for the resources that London’s NHS needs.

Murad Qureshi, Labour London wide Assembly member, said:

“We were told that closing A&Es wouldn’t lead to longer waiting times, but the evidence shows that Londoners are waiting longer to be seen. In the past 12 months nearly 200,000 people across London and 10,246 people in the hospitals run by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust have been forced to wait for more than four hours at A&E. These figures are a damning indictment of the failure to properly plan our NHS services. 15 out of 22 Hospital Trusts have failed to meet this key target.

“Last year we all celebrated the NHS’ 65th Birthday; one year on the government’s botched top down reorganisation is putting severe pressure on our local services. Continuing to either close or downgrade London’s A&Es will make the situation even worse. NHS staff work hard to look after us all when we are at our most vulnerable, but they need the resources to be able to deliver the service we all expect. I am deeply worried that following these A&E closures, waiting times will continue to be high and Londoners will continue to suffer as a result.”



  1. Murad Qureshi is a Labour London wide Assembly Member.
  2. Figures are from the last 52 weeks, are attached. Figures for 2013/14 taken from here: http://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ae-waiting-times-and-activity/weekly-ae-sitreps-2013-14/ and for 2012/13 from here: http://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ae-waiting-times-and-activity/weekly-ae-sitreps-2012-13/
  3. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust runs the following hospitals: Charing Cross in Hammersmith, Hammersmith in White city and St Mary’s in Paddington


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