Data & Statistics

The healthcare service across the four nations of the UK regularly publish important datasets relating to the performance of the urgent and emergency care system. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine closely monitors and analyses this data.

Our analysis is used to inform our policy and campaigns work and is published here on a monthly basis.


August 2021

  • Type 1 Attendances decreased considerably in August compared to the two previous months, standing at 1,342,250.
  • The four-hour target is the lowest on record for the second month in a row, at only 66.2%.
  • Almost one fifth of admitted patients are waiting at least four hours from the decision to admit them to admission.

Attendances and admissions

  • There were 1,342,250 type 1 attendances to EDs in August 2021. This is a decrease of almost 90,000 attendances compared to July 2021 and 95,000 compared to June 2021, both of which represented the highest number of attendances on record.
    • However, this is still the highest attendances for August on record, the second highest is from 2019 (1,324,065).
  • Type 1 Admissions stood at 381,896. Following the decrease in attendances, admissions have decreased accordingly too. This is the lowest number of admissions since March 2021 (375,494).
    • It is also only the third highest august admissions on record, after 2019 (393,710) and 2018 (382,863).
  • 66.2% patients waited less than 4 hours from arrival to admission, transfer, or discharge in Type 1 EDs.
    • This is the lowest figure on record for the second month in a row and is 1.5 percentage points lower than the now second-lowest percentage on record from July 2021 (67.7%).
    • Therefore, despite the decrease in attendances, EDs are still struggling to cope with the levels of demand.
  • 4- and 12-hour DTA waits have increased:
    • 96,013 patients waited at least 4 hours from the decision to admit them to admission in August 2021, an increase again from the previous month (89,768). This represents the highest figure of the year so far (even higher than January which saw 94,989 waits). This is now the third highest number of 4-hour DTA waits on record after December and January in winter 2019/20.
    • 2794 patients waited over 12 hours from the decision to admit them to admission. This is a 26% increase compared to July 2021 (2215) and a 117% increase compared to June 2021 (1289). Like previous months, this figure far surpasses the number of waits from previous years in August – the second highest is from 2019 at 371, therefore August 2021 represents a massive 653% increase.
  • DTA waits as a percentage of admissions have therefore risen – 19.1% of patients admitted waited at least 4 hours from the decision to admit them to admission. This is the third highest percentage on record after December and January 2020/2021, showing that performance is at the same level as some of the most challenging winter months.

Booked attendances

  • Despite the decrease in overall attendances, booked attendances to EDs remained on the same level as the previous month (34,787 in August vs 34,796 in July). However, the 4-hour target for booked attendances has again dropped, standing at 82.5%, the lowest percentage so far. Yet, as expected, the percentage is still considerably higher than the percentage for non-booked attendances in Type 1 EDs, which stood at 65.8%.

We use various datasets from all of the four UK nations to inform our work. Below you'll find links to the main datasets and interactive charts that show how they've changed over time.