A THIRD of Brits who went to A&E last year could not speak to a nurse or doctor for more than an hour after they arrived, the care watchdog has found.
Care Quality Commission reported that NHS patient experiences declined on all metrics in 2022.
From 15 percent in 2020, and 19 percent in 2018, the percentage of people who waited a very long time for a medical appointment at a hospital major has increased to 32.
Almost half of patients – 49 per cent – said they thought staff could have done more to relieve their pain while they waited.
Dr Sean O’Kelly, chief inspector at the CQC, said: “It remains extremely concerning that, for some people, care is falling short.
“We cannot afford to ignore the long-term decline shown in waiting times, information provided when people go home, access to pain relief and emotional support.”
The CQC surveyed 36,775 people who went to A&E or urgent treatment centres in September last year – before the winter crisis.
It found that, for major A&E departments, patients’ answers showed a “decline in positivity” on every question that was asked in previous years.
The number of people who waited four hours or more to be examined by a medic rocketed to 17 per cent – one in six – from four per cent in 2020 and five per cent in 2018.
Many people are positive in their opinions of the staff members and about overall experiences.
Ambulance and A&E delays were the worst on record last winter – after the survey was done.
As a result of the return of Covid, influenza and cold viruses as well as an increase in people seeking medical attention who were away from hospitals during the pandemic period, hospital staffs are under a lot more pressure.
At the height, it was estimated by doctors that up to an additional 500 people died each week due to delays.
In a separate survey conducted in early 2018, we found that the public’s satisfaction with NHS service was at an all time low. We were 51 per cent unhappy.
Saffron Cordery, of NHS Providers which represents hospitals, said: “Urgent and emergency care services are under enormous pressure as demand continues to outstrip capacity.”
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “A&E performance has improved since this survey was carried out and we are taking immediate action to improve services.
“This will see 5,000 more hospital beds, an expansion of virtual wards, and 800 new ambulances on the road, backed by record funding.”