Liverpool and Merseyside hospitals with worst A&E waiting times revealed amid UK record high

A&E departments across England are facing extreme pressure this winter.

Waits in England’s A&E departments have hit a new high, figures released this week show. Across England, just 68.9% of patients were seen within four hours in November, far below the 95% target.

NHS bodies across England warn they are facing their toughest winter yet, but how are Merseyside A&E departments coping?

Guidelines say at least 95% of A&E patients should be admitted to hospital, transferred to another provider or discharged within four hours. It’s a target which hasn’t been met since 2015, but the situation is getting worse.

Only two Trusts in Merseyside were above the 95% target in November - Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust - according to NHS England figures.

St Helens And Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust had the highest percentage of patients waiting over four hours, closely followed by Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Merseyside A&E waiting times

(Percentage of attendances where wait is 4 hours or less (target is 95%) from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge)

  • Wirral Community Health And Care NHS Foundation Trust: 98.8%
  • Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust: 96.5%
  • Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust: 93.5%
  • Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust: 87.3%


  • Southport And Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust: 74.2%
  • Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: 66.5%
  • Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust: 64.6%
  • Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: 63.9%
  • St Helens And Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust: 60.7%

What has been said?

National Clinical Director for Urgent and Emergency Care, Professor Julian Redhead, said: “Despite the ongoing pressures on services which are exacerbated by flu hospitalisations, issues in social care meaning we cannot discharge patients who are ready, and record numbers needing A&E, staff have powered through to bring down some of our longest waits for care.

“We have already said we are dealing with a perfect storm of pressures this winter, including increased demand for emergency are, and today announced an expansion of mental health crisis services which will ensure people suffering a mental health crisis get the help they need as quickly as possible, and reduce the chances of a patient needing to go to A&E.

“That is all on top of the measures announced NHS’ winter plan published in October which includes new hubs dedicated to respiratory infections and a falls response service to free up ambulance capacity.

“But the public can also play its part by using the best services for their care – using 111 services for urgent medical advice and 999 in an emergency – and to come forward for vaccinations, if eligible, to protect you and others around you against serious illness.”