Attendance rates at major A&E departments highest in London

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Attendance rates at major A&E departments highest in London


New figures for 2012-13 show attendance rates per 1,000 population at major (Type 1) Accident and Emergency departments were highest in the London region and lowest in the South Central region

This follows on from the ‘Focus on A&E’ report published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) in December4, which gave a national picture of the patient journey through A&E. Today’s report shows further information as well as regional figures.

The regions with the highest rates of major unit A&E attendance per 1,000 of the population5were London Strategic Health Authority (SHA) with 312 A&E attendances per 1,000 (2.6 million attendances overall) and North West SHA with 307 per 1,000 (2.2 million attendances).

The lowest rates of attendance at major A&E departments were in South Central SHA (189 per 1,000 of the population or 790,200 attendances) and South West SHA (210 per 1,000 of the population or 1.1 million attendances).

Today’s report also shows that GP referrals accounted for 5.8 per cent of attendances at major A&E departments overall (825,400). Regionally the highest percentage of GP referrals was for patients resident in the South West SHA (8.4 per cent or 94,000), while the lowest was for patients resident in the North West SHA (4.4 per cent or 96,400).

Finalised national information also shows shows that for A&E departments nationally in 2012-13:

There were 18.3 million attendances at A&E departments recorded in Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data between April 2012 and March 2013, a 4.0 per cent increase on attendances in 2011-12 (17.6 million).8

  • Major A&E departments dealt with 14.3 million attendances, a rise of 340,500 attendances (2.4 per cent) on 14.0 million attendances in 2011-12.8
  • Almost three out of ten attendees at major departments arrived by ambulance (29.7 per cent). Elderly patients were much more likely to arrive by ambulance; this equated to six out of ten 65+ year olds (63.1 per cent or 1.9 million) and eight out of ten 85+ year olds (82.0 per cent or 664,900).

HSCIC Chair Kingsley Manning said: “The scale of the variation in A&E attendances reported in this publication is striking.  Policy makers and system managers will want to look at the implications of this analysis for the future management and disposition of A&E services.”

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