Bradford’s busy A&E department has narrowly beaten the national December average for seeing patients within four-hours – but still fell way short of the Government target.

Nationally, the number of A&E patients being treated within that goal-time has reached its lowest ever level, with hospitals managing to care for just 77.3 per cent of patients within that timeframe, which is far fewer than the 95 per cent target the Government has set.

NHS figures out this week revealed staff at Bradford Royal Infirmary saw 78.1 per cent of its A&E patients within four hours in the winter month, four per cent down on December 2016.

It also showed only 54 people were kept waiting for a hospital bed for more than four hours after an A&E decision was made to admit them - last December the figure was 250.

Dr Bryan Gill, Medical Director at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have experienced significant winter emergency pressures, in line with the rest of the NHS, but throughout we have continued to deliver high quality care.

“Our staff have worked extremely hard and shown great support, flexibility and commitment to ensure our patients continue to receive the best possible care in very challenging circumstances.”

According to the latest figures a total of 10,439 people passed through the emergency unit last month with 1,210 urgent admissions alone coming through the department.

Earlier this month the Telegraph & Argus reported more than 1,300 patients had faced waits of half-an-hour or more in ambulances outside the hospital’s A&E so far this winter.

Out of the 1,325 who were delayed, 464 patients faced waits in the back of ambulances for over an hour during a 42-day period between November 20 and New Year’s Eve.

Meanwhile A&E waiting figures for December 2017 showed that Airedale Hospital saw 90.9 per cent of its patients within four hours of them coming through its doors, an improvement of almost four per cent on statistics from December 2016.

The major unit had 5,878 attendances last month with 77 per cent of those A&E patients waiting in the unit for more than four hours to get a ward bed.

Stacey Hunter, chief operating officer of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our improved performance against the 4-hour emergency care standard is a tribute to our staff and partners who have pulled out all the stops to make sure that people needing urgent treatment aren’t left waiting, despite the high level of demand in our Emergency Department during December.”

Neither Bradford Royal Infirmary or Airedale Hospital had patients waiting for more than 12 hours after an A&E doctors had decided to admit them.

Analysis of NHS Winter pressure figures also showed during November 20 and New Year’s Eve, beds at Bradford Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust were 95 per cent full for 22 of those days while Airedale was 95 per cent full for 26 days and 99 per cent full for one day.