THE trust running the county's hospitals has been named amongst the top 10 worst for A&E waiting times.

According to a BBC report, only 78.9 per cent of people waited less than four hours in A&E across Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in 2017/18 - making it the tenth worst in the country.

The trust has not met the NHS waiting time target of 95 per cent since November 2014.

Figures for March 2018, released by NHS England, show that 71.3 per cent of patients were seen within four hours - down by almost 11.3 per cent from a year earlier.

The figure is also down from the winter period, deemed to be the busiest time at the county's hospitals.

In November 2017, 80.3 per cent were seen within the target four hours, compared with 75 per cent in December and 73.3 per cent in January 2018.

A spokesman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said:

"Our services are continuing to face very high levels of demand.

Staff in our emergency departments, and their colleagues in wards and departments across our trust are working hard to care for large numbers of very seriously-ill patients.

"We have seen a year-on-year increase in people coming through our emergency departments and with higher than expected numbers of seriously ill patients arriving by ambulance every day, we have experienced periods of considerable pressure.

"Despite this, far fewer patients are having to endure long waits to be admitted to a ward.

"We are continuing to work with our partners in other local NHS organisations and the council to make sure all the health and care facilities in the county are being used to best effect so that patients can be offered suitable alternatives to emergency departments where possible, and also to ensure that any patients in our hospitals who are medically fit can be discharged in a safe and timely manner to free up beds.

"We would appeal to local people to play their part by following advice on using health services wisely."

Figures released for February also show missed targets for cancer treatment and planned operations and care.

74.1 per cent of cancer patients began their treatment within 62 days of urgent GP referral at hospitals in the county, falling short of the 85 per cent target.

The target has not been met since January 2016.

For planned operations and care, 84.5 per cent of patients waited less than 18 weeks at hospitals across the county, below the 92 per cent target.

That target has also not been met since January 2016.

Healthwatch Worcestershire was unavailable for comment.