A&E arrivals largely unchanged for five years

ots-ambulance queue 1 formby dgh southport ots onthespot ots otsnews.co.uk_0

A&E arrivals largely unchanged for five years

Majority of attendances still in working hours, new analysis shows

New light is shed on the accident and emergency debate by figures for England released today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

While the number of patients attending A&E has increased each year for the period analysed (from 2007-08)2, the pattern of their arrival times has remained largely unchanged, with about three in five attendances during “working hours” 3.

In the 11 months to February 20134, 58.5 per cent of patients (9.8 out of 16.8 million) arrived between 9am and 6pm. This figure has varied between 56.8 per cent and 58.5 per cent of patients from 2007-08 to 2011-12.

The data is released as part of HSCIC’s monthly release of provisional Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) information, which covers A&E, outpatients and inpatients activity commissioned by the NHS in England and this month also includes an additional special topic about falls.

Although HES is not the official source of overall A&E attendance numbers, it offers detailed data that supports analysis of department activity, including by time period and patient demographics.5

Considering A&E attendances in England in the 11 months to February 2013:

20.0 per cent of patients were discharged from A&E requiring a GP follow up. This figure has steadily increased from 17.0 per cent in 2007-08. In contrast, 39.0 per cent of patients were discharged with no follow up required, a decrease from 41.2 per cent in 2007-08. The most deprived 10 per cent of society accounted for more than double the number of attendances (14.4 per cent, or 2.4 million) compared to the least deprived 10 per cent (6.7 per cent, or 1.1 million). This compares to 15.7 per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively in 2007-08. HSCIC Chair Kingsley Manning said:

“As the authoritative and trusted source of national health and social care information, the HSCIC is providing this timely and robust analysis to inform current debate.

“The potential impact of changes in primary care provision to A&E departments in England is high on the present public agenda. We are able to offer a detailed picture of A&E activity over a number of years, shedding light on a key policy discussion and helping ensure it is grounded in evidence.”

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