There were 23.8 million attendances to Accident and Emergency departments in England during 2017-18, which is an increase of two per cent compared with 2016-17 and 22 per cent since 2008-09, according to official figures.
Published today, NHS Digital’s Hospital Accident and Emergency Activity 2017/18, created in partnership with NHS England, shows that the average growth per year over the period since 2008-09 is two per cent, compared with the England population average growth of one per cent per year over a similar period.
The report brings together data from Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) with NHS England’s A&E Attendances and Emergency Admissions Monthly Situation Reports (MSitAE)2. This report includes attendances from all types of Accident and Emergency departments ranging from major A&E departments, single specialty, consultant-led emergency departments to Minor Injury Units and Walk-in Centres.
HES data in the report shows for 2017/18:
- Monday is the busiest day of the week and the most popular time of arrival is between 10am and midday
- The number of reattendances3 to A&E within 7 days was 1,800,000 and accounted for 8.6% of all reported attendances
- Saturday and Sunday have the highest proportion of attendances of patients re-attending A&E within 7 days, with Saturday highest at 9.1%
- There were around twice as many A&E attendances (3.0 million attendances) for the 10% of the population living in the most deprived areas4,5 compared with the least deprived 10% (1.4 million attendances)
- Patients arriving from 8am to 10am generally spent the shortest times in A&E with 17% of patients arriving between 8am and 8:59am spending one hour or less; and 90% of arrivals between 9am and 9:59am spending four hours or less
- Looking at all arrival times, 1.6% (333,000) of all attendances spent more than 12 hours in A&E, compared with 1.3% (262,000) in 2016/17. This measures the entire duration of stay in A&E6
Published data on A&E activity from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have also been included in this release for the first time also to aid ongoing work in understanding the similarities and differences between A&E activity and time spent in departments across the home nations.
Provider level analysis of the figures is also available as part of this release.
Read the full report
Hospital Accident and Emergency Activity, 2017-18 is available on the NHS Digital website.
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Notes to editors
- NHS Digital is the national information and technology partner of the health and care system. Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend. During the 2017-18 financial year, NHS Digital published 275 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better.
- The Health and Social Care Information Centre is a non-departmental body created by statute, also known as NHS Digital. We provide ‘Information and Technology for better health and care’. Find out more about our role and remit at www.digital.nhs.uk
- Both sets of data are received monthly by NHS Digital and NHS England respectively. MSitAE are submitted data and are used at aggregate level, to a quick timetable, to monitor performance and activity growth. Coverage is more complete for MSitAE than HES, though HES holds the data at patient level from hospital systems. The gap between the two datasets is narrowing over time as the coverage in HES improves. All data excludes planned attendances, unless otherwise stated.
- All reattendances are defined to be within 7 days of the patient’s first attendance, either to the same or another A&E department where more than four hours has elapsed from A&E for the initial attendance. The reason for the initial and reattendances have not been compared to assess whether they are related or not. All reattendances are defined to be within 7 days of the patient’s first attendance, either to the same or another A&E department where more than four hours has elapsed from A&E for the initial attendance. The reason for the initial and reattendances have not been compared to assess whether they are related or not.
- The Index of Multiple Deprivation 2015 is the official measure of relative deprivation for small areas (or neighbourhoods) in England. The Index of Multiple Deprivation ranks every small area in England from 1 (most deprived area) to 32,844 (least deprived area). It is common to describe how relatively deprived a small area is by saying whether it falls among the most deprived 10 per cent, 20 per cent or 30 per cent of small areas in England. To help with this, deprivation ‘deciles’ are published alongside ranks. Deciles are calculated by ranking the 32,844 small areas in England from most deprived to least deprived and dividing them into 10 equal groups. These range from the most deprived 10 per cent of small areas nationally to the least deprived 10 per cent of small areas nationally. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/464430/English_Index_of_Multiple_Deprivation_2015_-_Guidance.pdf
- Population rates are calculated using Office for National (ONS) data using population estimates for the 2011 Lower Layer Super Output Areas (LSOA) combined with the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) to create a population estimate for each IMD decile group. The population estimates are the 2016 mid-year estimates mapped to 2011 LSOAs and IMD is using the 2015 version.
- This is defined as the ‘total time spent in A&E from arrival to discharge, transfer or admission’. This is distinct from the official measure, which relates to the time between the point a clinician decides to admit the patient to the point the patient is admitted (sometimes referred to as a trolley wait).
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