HSCIC publishes new report to help shed light on A&E activity

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HSCIC publishes new report to help shed light on A&E activity

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has today published a new report to help build understanding of A&E activity in England.

Focus on Accident and Emergency, December 2013 aims to help inform the current debate by bringing together a broad range of statistical data and analyses.

While the report reflects a changing, complex picture of overall attendance, it also shows striking consistencies in patterns of A&E activity over several years.

In highlighting these areas of change, the report shows that in 2012-13:

  • Departments dealt with 21.7 million attendances overall – or 60,000 a day. This is an 11 per cent growth on four years ago (2008-09) and compares to a 3.2 per cent growth in the England population during the same period.
  • Minor units dealt with almost 32 in every 100 attendees (up from 28 in 2008-09), while major units dealt with about 66 in every 100 (down from 69).
  • 63 in every 100 minor unit attendees were aged under 40 (up from 59 in 2008-09), while 12 in every 100 were aged over 64 (down from 14).
  • In major units, 54 in every 100 attendees were aged under 40 (down from 57 in 2008-09), while 21 in every 100 were aged over 64 (up from 19).

2012-13 A&E activity patterns consistent with recent years (where data is available) include:

  • Attendances at A&E peak slightly in April to June (based on 2008-09 data onwards).
  • The majority of attendances are during normal working hours of 9am to 6pm (2008-09 onwards).
  • Around one A&E patient in five is admitted to hospital. For people aged over 64 this rises to almost one in two (2009-10 onwards)
  • Of every 20 attendees, 13 refer themselves to A&E while around one is referred by a GP (2009-10 onwards).
  • Overall, about a third of patients receive guidance or advice only when attending A&E (2009-10 onwards).

HSCIC chair Kingsley Manning said: “HSCIC has responsibility for a wealth of national health and social care statistics and therefore, as an independent authority in this area, can usefully harness its expertise to help shed light on the A&E debate.

“A&E is a complex area that statistics alone cannot fully explain– but good quality information is vital towards gaining a clear understanding of patterns and trends in activity over time.”

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