GWH bosses have warned of growing pressures, as new figures put it in the bottom half of hospital trusts for waiting times.

Official statistics show that 87.3 per cent of patients were treated or admitted to hospital within four hours of arriving at Great Western Hospital’s A&E. The NHS target is 95 per cent.

According to analysis by the BBC, the score puts GWH in 83rd place out of a total of 134 hospital trusts.

On cancer care, GWH again fell below the national average – with 79.4 per cent of patients beginning treatment within 62 days of an urgent GP referral.

On planned operations and care GWH fared better. 90.9 per cent of patients waited less than 18 weeks for operations, 2.5 percentage points higher than the England average.

A spokesman for Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said that the data reinforced the message that “the NHS is facing a very difficult time”.

He said: “For several years now, these targets have remained fixed, however the number of patients we have been caring for have not.

"In just five years, the number of people attending the Emergency Department has risen from around 68,000 in 2011 to more than 82,000 in 2016 and as we live longer, patient care become more and more complex.

“This increase in demand has led to some people waiting longer for treatment than we would like and it’s not something we take lightly.

"However, it is also important to remember that, despite these very real challenges, the vast majority of our patients still receive the care they need within the national timeframes.”