PRESSURE is growing on the district's hospitals as those on the frontline face a “challenging winter”.

Both Airedale Hospital and Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) are seeing an increase in the number of people admitted with respiratory conditions – and are expecting this to continue rising.

Health chiefs have warned this year’s flu season is “officially underway”.

A&E departments at Airedale and BRI are extremely busy, and people are being urged to think about whether their ailment could be better treated elsewhere.

It comes as both A&Es fell short of key targets last month.

The NHS standard is for 95 per cent of patients to be seen within four hours.

However, the Government announced a two-year plan to stabilise NHS services earlier this year which set a recovery target of 76 per cent of patients being seen within four hours by March 2024.

Airedale fell significantly short of both the recovery target and NHS standard.

NHS England figures show there were 6,109 visits to A&E, but just 48 per cent of arrivals were seen within four hours.

Meanwhile, 631 patients waited longer than four hours, including 238 who were delayed by more than 12 hours.

BRI also missed key targets.

Of the 12,248 visits to A&E in November, 9,056 were seen within four hours. This equates to 74 per cent of arrivals.

A total of 961 patients waited longer than four hours, including 95 who were delayed by more than 12 hours.

A spokesperson for Airedale and Bradford hospitals said: “As this data shows we, along with all trusts nationally, are extremely busy, and have seen very high numbers of patients in our A&E departments.

“We have to prioritise our sickest patients, so we apologise to anyone who has had a long wait for treatment.”

The spokesperson added: “It remains the case that some people could be treated appropriately elsewhere.

“Members of the public can help by making sure that if they do choose to come to A&E for treatment, that it is the best place for them to go to get the right care.

“A&E is for accidents and emergencies only, such as severe chest pain, difficulty breathing, significant head injuries and broken bones.

“Using an alternative to A&E when you aren’t seriously ill such as going to, calling NHS 111, seeing your GP or visiting your pharmacist, could mean you end up waiting less time to receive care.”