NHS Hospital
A&E waiting times better but NHS hospitals still falling short of targetReuters

Waiting times at A&E units in hospitals fell across the NHS but still failed to hit targets, figures show.

In total, 92.4% of patients were seen within four hours in the seven days to 18 January, with the target standing at 95%. The new figure is the best in nearly three months.

However, only 29 of 140 major hospital trusts hit the target.

But the latest figure marks an improvement from the first week in January, when the proportion of patients seen within four hours dropped to 87% - the worst since records began.

Despite improvements, the NHS still faces "huge pressures on front line services," warned Dame Barbara Hakin, deputy chief executive of NHS England. She called the latest weekly figure "encouraging".

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: "The A&E crisis shows no sign of easing and too many patients continue to suffer poor care.

"It is having a damaging effect on the care of thousands of patients right across the NHS, with far too many now suffering the distress of having even the most urgent operations cancelled at the last minute."