The British government has admitted that more people are facing long waits in accident and emergency (A&E) departments compared with previous years.
The news about waiting times in the British National Health Service (NHS) A&E departments has come from a report via a government agency, the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC acts as a monitor for the health service.
According to the Daily Mail, the data from the report indicates that one-third of the 46,000 patients who received care in A&E departments at the beginning of 2012 waited more than 30 minutes before they saw a doctor or nurse.
This proportion of people who had to wait beyond the government target time was up from 29% in 2008 and from 24% 2004.
More worryingly, around one third of patients who had to wait more than thirty minutes to be seen spent more than four hours in A&E. The main complaint from people was a lack of communication from hospital staff, with many citing the fact that they were not informed of how long it would take for them to be examined.
The research was conducted across 147 NHS trusts with major accident and emergency departments.
Quoted in the Guardian, the chief executive of the health watchdog, David Behan, said the figures were disappointing and NHS trusts needed to deal with the issue urgently. One health union said the results were "deeply worrying".