'NHS targets for A&E patients to be seen within four hours, and those needing surgery to have it within 18 weeks look set to be scrapped under new plans.
Health officials have drawn up proposals which they say will mean speedier treatment for the most critical cases.
But senior doctors last night accused them of attempting to “move the goalposts” because the flagship targets have been repeatedly missed.
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) said the plans were likely to mean longer waiting times for the vast majority of NHS patients.
The proposals from NHS England say those with life-threatening conditions - such as heart attacks, sepsis and strokes - should receive treatment within an hour.
However, the plans will see most A&E cases given no deadline for treatment.
Instead, units will be measured on their average waiting times, under the proposals, which will be rolled out across the country by next year if pilot schemes are deemed successful.
The review also suggests ditching the 18 week waiting target for operations.
It says this could be replaced with either a new maximum waiting time - as yet undefined - or by one which measures the average time to start treatment.'
Read more: A&E four-hour target to be scrapped except for most serious cases
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