By Connor Boyd Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 11:09 GMT, 1 November 2019 | Updated: 13:04 GMT, 1 November 2019
Seven in 10 A&E patients are waiting longer under a new scheme being trialled by the NHS.
Health chiefs have been taking steps to scrap the infamous four-hour wait target to replace it with a new one which gets critically ill patients seen within an hour.
But a review has found that only a tiny minority were benefiting from the new change, which is being trialled at 14 hospitals in England.
It revealed that seven out of 10 A&E patients were forced to wait for nine minutes longer than they had been under the previous four-hour rules.
The average wait time for outpatients in departments using the new system rose to three hours and 10 minutes.
Seven in ten A&E patients are waiting longer for treatment under a new scheme being trialled by the NHS which is meant to have the opposite effect (file image)
The NHS England report also showed waiting times fell for just a third of the A&E patients who ended up being admitted to hospital, by an average of three minutes to 5 hours 12 minutes.
The new measures were ushered in after A&E waiting times hit their worst ever level in January.
Figures showed only 84.4 per cent of people were seen within four hours, instead of the 95 per cent target.
It meant the NHS had failed to hit this benchmark for four years in a row – it was last met in July 2015.
Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock's declared in August that the four-hour target was 'old and inappropriate'.
The NHS is on a collision course as it heads into winter with waiting lists for routine operations at an all-time high, experts have warned.
A damning report showed more than 4.41million patients were stuck on waiting lists in England in August - up by 250,000 from last year.
And 662,053 people have waited more than 18 weeks for routine treatments, such as joint replacements - the highest since records began.
Health leaders condemned the figures and said they show the NHS could face its worst winter ever with Brexit, harsh weather conditions and flu on the horizon.
NHS bosses said trusts up and down the country are working ‘incredibly hard’ to prepare for the winter and make sure patients are kept safe.
But the Royal College of Nursing fears more and more patients are going to be treated in corridors as pressure gets piled on the health service.
And the Royal College of Surgeons warned the upcoming winter pressure, Brexit and the NHS pension crisis will create a ‘perfect storm’