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A&E waits in England have reached their worst level since the four-hour target was introduced in 2004.

The deterioration in performance came after hospitals appeared to be coping well in the early part of winter.

During January, just 84.4% of patients were treated or admitted in four hours – well below the 95% threshold.

It means nearly 330,000 patients waited longer than they should with hospitals reporting significant problems finding beds for those needing to be kept in.

More than 80,000 patients were kept waiting an extra four hours or more to be transferred to a ward after their wait in A&E.

All this comes despite relatively low levels of flu.

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