A&E departments continue to be busy with more than a quarter of patients waiting more than four hours as hospital bosses repeat their plea for people to make sure they are accessing the right kind of care.

NHS England figures show 18,131 patients visited A&E at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust in June.

Of the patients in June, 5,125 waited longer than four hours from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge - 28.27 per cent of patients.

At East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust in June, 71.9 per cent of arrivals were seen within four hours, against an NHS target of 95 per cent.

The total number of patients did drop by 1 per cent compared to the 18,242 visits recorded during May, but was in line with the figures from June 2021.

The figures show attendances were above the levels seen in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic – in June 2020, there were 12,542 visits to A&E departments run by East Lancashire Hospitals Trust.

Most visits last month were with major A&E departments, those with full resuscitation equipment and 24-hour consultant-led care, while 42 per cent were to minor injury units.

Across England, A&E departments received 2.2 million visits last month. That was in line with May, and the same number as were seen during June 2021.

Chief operating officer at East Lancashire Hospitals, Sharon Gilligan said: “The Trust has seen very high numbers of people coming into our urgent care centres and A&E for some time but particularly in recent months.

“It might look like the number of people dropped in June compared to May but there’s one less day in the month and so the average number is actually higher per day.

“We aim to see and treat everyone as quickly as possible, within a triage system which prioritises the most urgent and serious cases first, but it isn’t always possible.

“We have introduced a number of improvements including a screening process, offering appointments to patients who attend the department with conditions that are urgent but do not need to be seen immediately.

"I want to say a huge thank you to the urgent and emergency care team – as well as colleagues across the Trust who support them day in and day out.

“I would also just remind local people to please only attend A&E if you need urgent care or treatment and, if not, consider using NHS 111, pharmacies across Pennine Lancashire or your local GP. This really does make a difference in enabling us to provide safe, personal and effective care.”