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Annual A&E statistics published

 *NHS Digital must be cited as the source of this information

*Provider level data are available

10 January 2017: New official figures published today provide details of Accident and Emergency activity in NHS hospitals in England during 2015-16.

The publication "Hospital Accident and Emergency Activity, 2015-16" describes Accident and Emergency Activity in NHS hospitals. It does not include statistics relating to inpatient episodes or outpatient attendances - these can be found in other publications.

The report contains high-level and provider level details of:

  •  Patient gender and age group
  •  Hour of arrival
  •  Day of arrival
  •  Method of arrival
  •  Comparison with attendances recorded in A&E Sit Reps
  •  Duration to assessment, treatment and departure
  •  Method of discharge


The data source for this publication is Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), which comes from the HES data warehouse held by NHS Digital containing details of all admissions, outpatient appointments and accident and emergency (A&E) attendances at NHS hospitals in England.

Each record in HES includes a range of information including demographic details of the patient, when they were treated and what they were treated for. This publication releases some high level analyses of HES data relating to A&E attendances in NHS hospitals, minor injury units and walk-in centres. As such, it is different from the process used for collecting data for the A&E Situation Reports (Sit Reps) published by NHS England. Sit Reps are based on counts made in local NHS organisations and submitted to NHS England in aggregate form, rather than from patient level data.

The aggregate Sit Rep data should be used in preference to A&E HES for information that is held in both data sets, such as total attendances. HES enables more detailed breakdowns on many specific areas. The majority of the difference in totals between the two collections is due to type 3 A&E departments (minor injury units and walk in centres) that submit data to Sit Reps but not to A&E HES.

The report can be downloaded at: 



Notes to editors

1. NHS Digital is the national information and technology provider for 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 2015/16 financial year, NHS Digital published 294 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better. NHS Digital is the new trading name for the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). We provide 'Information and Technology for better health and care'. Find out more about our role and remit at

2. The production of HES data is a secondary use of data collected during the care of patients in the NHS and submitted for NHS Providers to be paid for the care they deliver. Therefore HES does not incur additional costs or burden on the providers of the data.

3. As HES is such a rich source of data it is not possible to publish aggregate tables covering all permutations of possible analysis. Underlying HES data may be made available to facilitate further analysis if required.

4. HES A&E data is available from 2007-08 onwards. Changes to the figures over time need to be interpreted in the context of improvements in data quality and coverage (particularly in earlier years) and changes in NHS practice.

5. Users can misinterpret HES data as relating to numbers of patients but care should be taken as HES data relates to hospital activity not patient numbers. In the case of A&E data this is presented as attendances, which will include people attending more than once in the reporting period.

6. For media enquiries please contact or telephone 0300 30 33 888.


Last edited: 11 April 2018 5:33 pm