A THIRD of patients seeking the most serious care at a Southampton A&E are waiting too long for treatment, figures show.

University Hospital Southampton (UHS) has said its emergency department is "busier than ever" as huge numbers of people seek hospital treatment every day.

The trust is pleading with the public to think about "the best way to get the treatment you need" before travelling to A&E.

NHS guidance states that 95 per cent of patients attending accident and emergency departments should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

But figures from NHS Digital have shown that just 65 per cent of the 11,981 attendances at type 1 A&E departments were seen within four hours at UHS last month.

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Type 1 departments are those which provide major emergency services – with full resuscitation equipment and 24-hour consultant-led care – and account for the majority of attendances nationally.

It means 35 per cent of patients seeking the most urgent care at Southampton University Hospital waited too long to be seen last month, compared to 32 per cent in April, and 16 per cent in May 2021.

Including the 1,370 attendances at other accident and emergency departments, such as minor A&Es and those with single specialties, 67 per cent of A&E patients were seen by the trust within the target time in May.

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A spokesperson for University Hospital Southampton said: “Our emergency department (ED) continues to be busier than ever with high numbers of people seeking our help and care every day.

"This level of demand is not unique to UHS, but something that is being seen by colleagues in emergency departments across the country.

"Our staff are working incredibly hard to care for everyone who needs our help.  

“We are asking members of the community to help us by thinking about the best way to get the treatment you need; only come to ED in an emergency, consider visiting your local pharmacy and use 111 to help find the right service for you.   

“Remember we are always here for you – always go to the emergency department for anything urgent or life threatening.”

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