More than two in five patients seeking the most serious A&E care at East Lancashire Hospitals Trust waited longer than four hours to be seen last month, figures show.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, which operates Royal Blackburn Hospital and Burnley General Hospital, fell behind the NHS target in May, when just 57 per cent of the 10,940 attendances at type one, the highest level of care, were seen within four hours, according to figures from NHS England.

This means 43 per cent of patients seeking the most urgent care at East Lancashire Hospitals Trust waited too long to be seen last month, compared to 46 per cent in April, and 27 per cent in May 2021.

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

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.

The 95 per cent standard has not been met across the NHS in England since July 2015.

Lancashire Telegraph: Burnley General Hospital is also part of the trustBurnley General Hospital is also part of the trust

Executive Director of Integrated Care, Partnerships and Resilience at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, Tony McDonald, said: "Our teams work hard to see patients as quickly as possible and for most people attending A&E, that is within four hours.

 "However, in May there was an incredibly high number of people attending A&E and a large number of seriously poorly people needing our services.

 "Whilst we do all we can to keep waiting times to a minimum, we need the help of our communities to think whether there is an alternative to attending A&E, such as using the 111 service or contacting their local pharmacy.

"We are also working on a number of initiatives to reduce waiting times for our patients - such as our streaming tool where patients attending the Urgent Treatment Centres are asked to input the details of their illness or injury and then they may be allocated an appointment to return for treatment so they are not having to wait in the department as their treatment is not needed so urgently."