Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Wait times for Britons who need to be seen at emergency rooms nationwide are now the longest they've been in 15 years, a government report said Thursday.
The study by Britain's National Health Services said 84 percent of patients received treatment within four hours last month in hospitals' accident and emergency department -- a decline from about 86 percent in September. Attendances and emergency room admissions, however, have risen significantly since October 2018, the report said.
"Today's figures highlight that the NHS is desperately struggling to stay afloat," Dr. Rebecca Fisher, a senior policy fellow at the Health Foundation, said.
"The NHS does not have enough staff, or enough equipment, to meet the needs of the population it serves."
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth blamed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party and its policies.
"The Conservatives have ushered in the worst NHS crisis on record," he said. "Under Boris Johnson, the NHS is in crisis and we're heading for a winter of abject misery for patients."
"[Emergency rooms] are overwhelmed, more so than ever," he added. "In every community, there's an ever-growing queue of people waiting for treatment."