New figures reveal that thousands of people have waited longer than four hours to be seen at A&E and a campaign group says it could get worse.

The latest data, found by the campaign group, 38 Degrees, reveals the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust as one of the worst performing trusts for A&E waiting times in the country.

More than 27,000 people had to wait more than four hours to be seen to last year.

According to the statistics, if the same NHS waiting time trends continue, in five years time, 30,869 people could be waiting - 3,000 more people than last year.

The trust’s acting chief executive Helen Brown says the poor state of hospital infrastructure is not able to meet growing demands because of this the trust received £11 million from the Government to improve its services.

She said: “Our A&E has seen a significant rise in demand for emergency care which is reflected in our performance.

“We treated around 2,500 more people in A&E during September, October and November 2018 than we did at the same time in 2017.

“Our buildings are old and not designed to meet the increasing demands on our services, so we were delighted to receive £11 million capital funding in December to improve emergency services at Watford General Hospital.

“The funding boost will make an enormous contribution to patient care by helping to increase capacity in our emergency department. 

“We are working hard to develop plans that transform our services and buildings with a focus on delivering new models of care, making sure that the right services are grouped together and that the most urgent infrastructure issues are addressed.

“All our options include retaining emergency and critical care at Watford General Hospital. We are determined to find a solution that will bring real benefits to patients and staff and will satisfy our regulators so that we are top of the list for funding.”

Trish Murray, Campaign Manager at 38 Degrees, says the group have now got 100,000 signatures to press the Government to act over the waiting times.

Ms Murray said: “30,869 more people spending hours in A&E waiting rooms. This isn’t the NHS plan patients across the country were waiting for.

“When the government announced extra funding for the NHS, voters didn’t expect to end up waiting longer for the treatment they and their families need. 100,000 members of the public are calling on Theresa May and Health Secretary Matt Hancock to fix this - commit to meeting targets and bring down waiting times.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Thanks to dedicated and hardworking staff over 9,852 patients were seen within four hours last month in West Hertfordshire. 

“We have supported the NHS with £2 billion this year to improve performance, redevelop A&Es and help patients get home quicker, and we are backing the NHS with £20.5 billion a year extra by 2023/24 to guarantee the future of the health service through the Long-Term Plan."