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This information is not held centrally. It is for primary care trusts to commission services in line with local needs and the priorities set out in "The Operating Framework for the NHS in England 2009-10". A copy of this document is already available in the Library.
The target that no patient would spend more than four hours in accident and emergency (A&E) departments from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge was set in the NHS Plan in 2000. The target became an operational standard in 2005.
In 2003, a 98 per cent. minimum operating figure was set for delivery of the access standard to allow for the minority of patients who clinically need more than four hours in A&E.