Bucks’ NHS has failed to hit A&E waiting time targets as hospitals deal with increased demand over the winter months, figures reveal.

New figures published by NHS England show Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust (BHT) did not meet its target to see 95 per cent of people attending the emergency department within four hours in January.

Labour councillor on Wycombe District Council, Khalil Ahmed, said A&E waiting times across the country “are at their worst since records began”, blaming the pressures on “Tory austerity and wider cuts”.

Last month,  1,706 patients who attended A&E in Bucks waited more than four hours to either be admitted, transferred to another service or discharged – 87.5 per cent of the total.

Cllr Ahmed said: “A&E waiting times across the country are now at their worst level since records began, and Buckinghamshire is suffering.

“It’s a damning indictment of how years of Tory austerity and wider cuts have hit the NHS here.

“Ministerial incompetence has left our NHS with chronic shortages of NHS staff with no clear idea of how to sort this out. Steve Baker MP must speak out against what her/his party has done and call for government support to restore the A&E at Wycombe Hospital.

“Instead of putting patients first with a clear plan to restore the A&E standard, the Conservatives are looking at scrapping it altogether in the teeth of opposition from the doctors who actually work in A&E departments.

“Yet again today’s figures reveal an NHS in desperate crisis and a government failing patients.”

Chief operating officer at BHT, Natalie Fox, said trusts across the country have been “extremely busy” throughout January – however the A&E in Stoke Mandeville “is still performing well”.

BHT saw an extra 1,706 people attend A&E in January compared to the same period last year and more patients are being seen within the four-hour target.

Ms Fox said: “As a trust we anticipated these high levels of demand over winter and have been working with our system partners on measures to deal with the increased pressures, such as seeing and treating patients in alternative settings away from the emergency department when clinically appropriate.

“This included re-aligning the workforce to support our frontline staff. We also designated more beds for medical patients, which we knew there would be a greater demand for over winter.

“As a system we have been providing more care and a variety of care options in the community, such as additional support for patients in their own homes and additional care home beds.

“Our priority is to ensure all patients receive the right care in the right place and are not delayed unnecessarily in hospital.”