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How big are the backlogs at YOUR hospital? Use our interactive tool to find out the extent of A&E queues, size of waiting lists and cancer care delays at every trust – as public satisfaction with the NHS plummets to an all-time low

The NHS’s ‘eternal winter’ was today laid bare by a forensic trust-by-trust analysis of waiting lists, A&E pressures and cancer care referral times.

Two-thirds of patients at England’s busiest hospitals have been waiting 18 weeks for treatment, MailOnline found. 

Under the swamped health service’s own rulebook, anyone referred for treatment by their GP has the legal right to be seen within that timeframe. 

Some patients have been told they face two-year waits, giving them no option but to travel to Lithuania for routine ops. Others have cashed in pensions and raided family savings to beat lengthy NHS queues.  

Meanwhile, MailOnline’s probe revealed fewer than a third of patients attending A&E are seen within four hours at the country’s worst-performing trusts. 

One in four even have to wait more than 12 hours at some NHS hospitals, illustrating the extent of the crisis which has seen patients forced to sleep on the floor or sat on trolleys in hospital corridors as they wait for a bed.

This website has put the most up-to-date performance data into a handy searchable tool, allowing you to see exactly how your trust is faring. 

Our analysis comes as a report yesterday revealed public satisfaction with the NHS — a service that gets around £160billion-a-year — has plunged to an all-time low. 

Two-thirds of patients at England’s busiest hospitals have been waiting 18 weeks for treatment, MailOnline found. Under the swamped health service’s own rulebook, anyone referred for treatment by their GP has the legal right to be seen within that timeframe 

Fewer than one in four people were happy with the health service in 2023, with Brits complaining about long waits for hospital care as well as difficulties in securing a GP appointment. 

Nationally, the waiting list for routine treatment, such as hip and knee replacements, stood at around 7.58million in January.

Backlogs soared in the wake of Covid, with strike action and staffing crises adding to the problem, despite efforts and Rishi Sunak’s pledge to slash queues. 

Around 3.3million (57 per cent) of the patients stuck in the system had been waiting at least 18 weeks.

NHS guidelines set out that 92 per cent of patients should be treated within 18 weeks of being referred. 

Yet just a trio of 135 NHS trusts — the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, the Christie and Royal Marsden — met this target. All three are specialist sites who deal with cancer patients. 

MailOnline found queues, in January, were worst at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. 

What do the latest NHS performance figures show?

The overall waiting list shrunk by 28,000 to 7.58million in January. 

There were 376 people waiting more than two years to start treatment at the end of January, up on the 282 in December. 

The number of people waiting more than a year to start hospital treatment was 321,394, down slightly on the 337,450 in the previous month.

Some 44,417 people had to wait more than 12 hours in A&E departments in England in February. The figure is down on the 54,308 logged in January.

A total of 139,458 people waited at least four hours from the decision to admit to admission in February, down from 158,721 in January. 

Just 70.9 per cent of patients were seen within four hours at A&Es last month. NHS standards set out that 95 per cent should be admitted, transferred or discharged within the four-hour window.

In February, the average category one response time – calls from people with life-threatening illnesses or injuries – was 8 minutes and 25 seconds. The target time is seven minutes.

Ambulances took an average of 36 minutes and 20 seconds to respond to category two calls, such as burns, epilepsy and strokes. This is more than twice as long as the 18 minute target.

Response times for category three calls – such as late stages of labour, non-severe burns and diabetes – averaged 2 hours, 4 minutes and 12 seconds. Nine in 10 ambulances are supposed to arrive to these calls within two hours.

Only 34.5 per cent of patients on its waiting list had yet to breach the 18-week threshold. 

It means the others — roughly 23,000 patients — had been waiting at least four months to be seen.

A spokesperson for the trust told MailOnline it had seen ‘a significant increase in demand for services, with urgent referrals increasing by approximately 80 per cent since before the pandemic and cancer referrals up by almost 70 per cent during the same period’.

They added: ‘The hospital has made significant progress in the last few months to reduce waiting times across all specialities and is committed to ensuring that patients are safely seen and treated as quickly as possible.’

Similarly low levels were seen at James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Norfolk (41.4 per cent) and University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (43 per cent).

For comparison, the same figure stood at 84 per cent at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, which was the best-performing non-specialist trust. 

Before the pandemic hit in February 2020, 4.4million patients were in the backlog. Just 1,600 of those had been stuck in the system for over a year.

Waiting lists rocketed after the response to coronavirus forced hospitals to cancel tens of thousands of routine operations and turn over entire wards to patients with the disease. 

The number of year-long waits has since spiralled 200-fold to over 320,000.

The health service has been told to eliminate all waits of more than a year by the end of March.

Last year, one patient was forced to travel to Lithuania to undergo a hip operation after being told she would have to wait up to three months for an x-ray and up to two years for surgery. 

Annabel Harris, from Little Dunham near Fakenham, Norfolk, sought advice from a private hospital but was told it would cost in the region of £17,000. 

The 58-year-old was then recommended a clinic in Lithuania by her mother whose dentist had a hip replacement there.

Mrs Harris, who spent around £7,000 on the surgery and two weeks of physiotherapy, told BBC News that making the decision seemed ‘a bit drastic and a bit scary really’.

‘But you get to the point, that desperate position, when you can’t wait two years, or perhaps the other issue of finding £17,000 and taking out a loan’, she added. 

Primary school teacher Fiona Hinton was also placed on the urgent NHS waiting list to remove her gall bladder in 2022. She was informed, however, ‘it might take 18 months to two years’, she told BBC News. 

Ms Hinton, who lives near Norwich, chose the clinic in Lithuania as the price was a third of the cost of a UK private clinic. 

‘They ask you to stay for so many days afterwards, and I saw the consultant afterwards,’ she said.

Annabel Harris (pictured), from Little Dunham near Fakenham, Norfolk, sought advice from a private hospital but was told it would cost in the region of £17,000. The 58-year-old was then recommended a clinic in Lithuania by her mother whose dentist had a hip replacement there

Annabel Harris (pictured), from Little Dunham near Fakenham, Norfolk, sought advice from a private hospital but was told it would cost in the region of £17,000. The 58-year-old was then recommended a clinic in Lithuania by her mother whose dentist had a hip replacement there

Primary school teacher Fiona Hinton was also placed on the urgent NHS waiting list to remove her gall bladder in 2022. She was informed, however, 'it might take 18 months to two years', she told BBC News. Ms Hinton, who lives in Higham near Norwich, chose the clinic in Lithuania as the price was a third of the cost of a UK private clinic

Primary school teacher Fiona Hinton was also placed on the urgent NHS waiting list to remove her gall bladder in 2022. She was informed, however, ‘it might take 18 months to two years’, she told BBC News. Ms Hinton, who lives in Higham near Norwich, chose the clinic in Lithuania as the price was a third of the cost of a UK private clinic

She said: 'They ask you to stay for so many days afterwards, and I saw the consultant afterwards. I then had a nurse check-up for five days and then I flew back, with an aftercare plan and phone calls. Amazing level of care out there, can't fault them'

She said: ‘They ask you to stay for so many days afterwards, and I saw the consultant afterwards. I then had a nurse check-up for five days and then I flew back, with an aftercare plan and phone calls. Amazing level of care out there, can’t fault them’

MailOnline's probe revealed fewer than a third of patients attending A&E are seen within four hours at the country's worst-performing trusts. One in four even have to wait more than 12 hours at some NHS hospitals, illustrating the extent of the crisis which has seen patients forced to sleep on the floor or sat on trolleys in hospital corridors as they wait for a bed

MailOnline’s probe revealed fewer than a third of patients attending A&E are seen within four hours at the country’s worst-performing trusts. One in four even have to wait more than 12 hours at some NHS hospitals, illustrating the extent of the crisis which has seen patients forced to sleep on the floor or sat on trolleys in hospital corridors as they wait for a bed 

‘I then had a nurse check-up for five days and then I flew back, with an aftercare plan and phone calls. Amazing level of care out there, can’t fault them.’

Meanwhile, marathon runner Gemma Craze was forced to use her mother’s savings to cover the cost of hip replacement surgery after a two-year wait. 

The 40-year-old, from Truro in Cornwall, saw her GP in 2019 after suddenly being hit with pain in her hip and leg. 

X-ray scans revealed she was suffering with hip dysplasia, where the ball and socket of the joint aren’t formed properly. It heightens the risk of arthritis, and she was put on the waiting list for a double hip replacement. 

After a left hip replacement in March 2021 she was put on another waiting list for her right hip but ‘couldn’t face another two-year wait’. 

Her mother offered to pay and she saw a private consultant in May 2021 and had the surgery within a month. 

‘If it wasn’t for mum I might still be waiting for that second hip replacement’, she said.  

Separately, latest NHS England data for February shows that no hospital trust saw all emergency department attendees within four hours. 

The original target, set in 2010, was 95 per cent. 

Just one trust — Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust — saw at least nine in 10 patients within this timeframe, but still came below the goal. 

Eight of the total 122 trusts met the health service’s weakened target of 76 per cent, however. 

Marathon runner Gemma Craze was forced to use her mum's savings to cover the cost of hip replacement surgery after a two-year wait. The 40-year-old, from Truro in Cornwall, saw her GP in 2019 after suddenly being hit with pain in her hip and leg. X-ray scans revealed she was suffering with hip dysplasia, where the ball and socket of the joint aren't formed properly. It heightens the risk of arthritis, and she was put on the waiting list for a double hip replacement

Marathon runner Gemma Craze was forced to use her mum’s savings to cover the cost of hip replacement surgery after a two-year wait. The 40-year-old, from Truro in Cornwall, saw her GP in 2019 after suddenly being hit with pain in her hip and leg. X-ray scans revealed she was suffering with hip dysplasia, where the ball and socket of the joint aren’t formed properly. It heightens the risk of arthritis, and she was put on the waiting list for a double hip replacement

After a left hip replacement in March 2021 she was put on another waiting list for her right hip but 'couldn't face another two-year wait'. Her Mum offered to pay and she saw a private consultant in May 2021 and had the surgery within a month

After a left hip replacement in March 2021 she was put on another waiting list for her right hip but ‘couldn’t face another two-year wait’. Her Mum offered to pay and she saw a private consultant in May 2021 and had the surgery within a month 

This threshold was implemented in December 2022 with all trusts expected to hit it by March 2024.  

At the worst performing trust, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, seven in ten patients were seen outside four hours. That data is all based on ‘trolley waits’ — the time between doctors deciding a patient needs to be admitted and them getting a bed.

Figures that capture patients from the moment they arrive at A&E instead paint an even bleaker picture. 

Under that method, over a quarter were left waiting at least 12 hours before being admitted, transferred or discharged at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

Experts have long warned that Covid-induced delays, a huge staffing crisis and a year of devastating strike action has fuelled the problem. 

In a sign of the dire pressures facing the NHS, one A&E patient in Kent last year told how he was made to endure a 45-hour wait for a ward bed to become available. 

Steven Wells, a 31-year-old forklift driver, was vomiting blood when he arrived at the William Harvey hospital in Ashford, Kent at 1am on November 13. 

But he was not given a bed on a ward until 10pm on November 14. 

Sharing a picture of him sleeping on the floor, Mr Wells said: ‘It was honestly like a war zone at times. It makes me not want to go back to hospital, as the last time was so traumatic and embarrassing.

‘You have people looking down on you, stepping over you, and all you want is to just be looked after.’

He added: ‘They need more full-time proper staff in place. There’s no excuse at all for the way I was treated.’

Separate NHS figures on cancer waiting times also showed dire performance stats. 

Steven Wells (pictured sleeping on the floor at William Harvey hospital in Ashford, Kent) endured a 45-hour A&E wait after starting to vomit blood and was forced to sleep on the floor while waiting to be admitted

Steven Wells (pictured sleeping on the floor at William Harvey hospital in Ashford, Kent) endured a 45-hour A&E wait after starting to vomit blood and was forced to sleep on the floor while waiting to be admitted

Mr Wells (pictured sleeping on the floor at William Harvey hospital) said: 'It was honestly like a war zone at times. It makes me not want to go back to hospital, as the last time was so traumatic and embarrassing. 'You have people looking down on you, stepping over you, and all you want is to just be looked after'

Mr Wells (pictured sleeping on the floor at William Harvey hospital) said: ‘It was honestly like a war zone at times. It makes me not want to go back to hospital, as the last time was so traumatic and embarrassing. ‘You have people looking down on you, stepping over you, and all you want is to just be looked after’

NHS guidelines state 85 per cent of cancer patients should be seen within two months of an urgent cancer referral. But this target has not been met nationally since December 2015. 

Latest available data shows just 13 per cent of all trusts (19 of 145) hit the national target in January. 

Figures were better for the other two targets, which measures the proportion of patients told they have cancer within 28 days of an urgent referral and the proportion receiving treatment within 31 days of a decision to treat. 

It comes as public satisfaction with the NHS fell to the lowest level on record today amid long waits for hospital care. 

Fewer than one in four (24 per cent) people were happy with the health service in 2023, down 5 percentage points on the previous year alone. 

It is the lowest level since records began in 1983, according to latest findings from the British Social Attitudes Survey. 

The study, of 3,374 people in England, Wales and Scotland, is seen as the gold-standard test of how people feel about the NHS. 

More than half (52 per cent) are now dissatisfied with the NHS, the highest proportion since the survey began. 

The main reasons for dissatisfaction are waiting times for GP and hospital appointments (71 per cent), followed by staff shortages (54 per cent) and the Government not spending enough money on the NHS (47 per cent) — despite record investment. 

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