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.

England

March 2021
Performance

  • There were 1,159,938 Type 1 Attendances, an increase on February 2021 which stood at 903,644.
    • This was also an increase on March 2020 (1,012,326).
  • There were 375,494 Type 1 Admissions – the highest since January 2020 (408,500) and a significant increase on February 2021 which was 317,686.
  • The percentage of patients waiting less than 4 hours from arrival to admission, transfer, or discharge in type 1 EDs was 80%.
    • This was a 3% increase on February 2021 and an almost 10% increase on January 2021 (70.1%)
    • This figure was also the best March performance since 2017.
  • The average number of Type 1 admissions per day was 12,113, which represents the second highest average since the start of the pandemic (12,190 in September was the highest).
  • 32.4% of Type 1 attendances were admitted in March which is a decrease on the previous month (35.2%).
    • This figure was the lowest since September 2020 showing that improvements are being made as we come out of winter. However, it was the highest percentage for March on record.
  • The number of waits greater than 4 hours from decision to admit to admission was 50,972, a decrease compared to February 2021 (57,169) and a massive improvement on January 2021 (94,989).
    • This was also the best March figure since 2017.
  • 12-hour DTA waits have also significantly decreased – 688 in March 2021 vs 1038 in February 2021. More considerably, this month’s figure is a huge decrease on January 2021 which was the worst on record at 3809.
  • 10.1% of admissions were Trolley (DTA) waits. This is less than half of the January 2021 figure which was 21.32%.
  • Therefore, these figures show that although attendances and admissions are increasing, performance is better than previous winter months.
Booked Appointments

  • From August 2020, the attendance figures include booked appointments in emergency departments. Previously, these have not been counted as A&E attendances, but the implementation of booked appointments via NHS111, particularly to Urgent Treatment Centres, is a key element in improving patient experience and supporting patients to access urgent care in a convenient setting outside of emergency departments. Additionally, there are services that have been introduced as a way of managing patient flow as a response to the Covid19 situation.
  • There were 32,400 booked appointment attendances in Type 1 EDs in March 2021. Again, these figures have been gradually increasing since the data was first recorded in August 2020. March’s figure is an increase of over 9000 compared to February 2021 (23,205) and a significant jump from January’s figure (21,901).
  • 92.14% of booked appointment attendances reached the 4-hour target, an increase on the previous three months, and significantly higher than the non-booked appointment percentage which was 79.73%.
 

February 2021

Performance

  • There were 903,644 Type 1 ED Attendances, a decrease on the previous month (941,151) and the lowest attendances since April 2020.
    • February’s figure represents the second lowest attendances since records began in 2010.
  • There were 317,686 Type 1 admissions – also a decrease on the previous month (343,534).
  • 35.2% of attendances were admitted in February compared to 36.5% in January.
    • Whilst attendances and admissions are down, the percentage of attendances admitted in February 2021 was higher than in February 2020, which stood at only 30%.
  • The percentage of patients waiting less than 4 hours from arrival to admission, transfer, or discharge in type 1 EDs was 77.4%, a significant improvement on January’s figure of 70.1%, and was the strongest February performance since 2017 (80.9%).
  • The 4-hour wait percentage for all EDs was 83.9%, also an improvement on January’s figure which was the lowest on record (78.5%).
  • The average number of admissions per day was 11,346, which was slightly higher than January (11,082).
  • The number of waits greater than 4 hours from decision to admit to admission decreased drastically in February at 57,169, compared to January (94,989) – this represents a 40% decrease. While it is to be expected that these figures will drop in February, due to the shorter number of days, this difference is considerably lower.
  • 12-hour waits also significantly decreased – 1038 in February vs 3809 in January.
    • However, it is important to note that this number is still substantial and one of the highest since records began in 2010.


Booked Appointments

  • There were 23,205 booked appointment attendances in type 1 EDs in February. This is an increase from January (21,901), however this growth is much smaller than previous months.
    • There was a 6% increase from January to February, whereas the increase from December to January was 48% and there was a 148% increase from November to December.
  • Despite there being slightly more attendances, the percentage of patients seen and admitted, discharged, or transferred within 4 hours has increased since January – 91.8% in February vs 89.4% in January.
    • Again, this is significantly higher than the percentage of patients with non-booked appointments – only 77% hit the 4-hour target.


December 2019


  • 118,598 people attended major Emergency Departments, representing the third quietest month of 2019
  • Only 81.6% of patients were seen within the four-hour target in major Emergency Departments across Scotland - representing the worst four-hour performance since records began.
  • 3,899 patients waited eight hours or more – highest on record
  • 1,107 patients waited twelve hours or more – highest on record

October to September 2018

October 2018:

  • There were a total of 69,618 at Emergency Care Departments.
  • 72.1% of attendances in October 2018 were discharged, or admitted within four hours.
  • 67.2% of attendances at Type 1 EDs in were treated and discharged, or admitted within four hours of their arrival.
  • A total of 1,624 patients spent 12-hours or more in an Emergency Care Departments.

November 2018

  • There were a total of 66,360 at Emergency Care Departments.
  • 69% of attendances in were discharged, or admitted within four hours.
  • 63.9 of attendances at Type 1 EDs in were treated and discharged, or admitted within four hours of their arrival.
  • A total of 2,460 patients spent 12-hours or more in an Emergency Care Departments.
December 2018
  • There were a total of 66,640 at Emergency Care Departments.
  • 67.0% of attendances were discharged, or admitted within four hours.
  • 62.2% of attendances at Type 1 EDs in were treated and discharged, or admitted within four hours of their arrival.
  • A total of 2,018 patients spent 12-hours or more in an Emergency Care Departments.

December 2019


  • 69,163 patients attended Type 1 Emergency Departments in December, the fifth busiest month of the year.
  • Number of patients seen within the four-hour performance measure – 66.4%, representing the lowest on record.
  • 6,608 patients waited twelve hours or more in Emergency Departments. This is highest on record, representing a 70% increase since December 2018.

May 2021

Attendances and Admissions:

There were 1,396,193 Type 1 Attendances in May 2021. This is a 10.8% increase on April’s attendances (1,259,983) and this figure also represents the second highest number of attendances on record, the highest of which happened in July 2019 (1,415,918). Type 1 Admissions stood at 411,262; this was a 6.6% increase on the previous month and the highest numbers of admissions since December 2019. This suggests that we are experiencing winter levels of admissions in the spring/summer months. This figure is also 100,000 (33.2%) higher than May 2020 (308,798). The percentage of patients waiting less than 4 hours from arrival to admission, transfer, or discharge in type 1 EDs was 76.5%, which is the lowest May percentage on record. This figure is over 2 percentage points lower than April 2021 (78.8%) and 3.5 percentage points lower than March 2021 (80%) and is the lowest percentage since January 2021 which stood at 70.1%.

There were 694 12-hour DTA waits, which is the highest May figure on record (second highest was 415 in 2019) and drastically higher than the May 2020 figure which stood at 93. The May 2021 figure is an increase on April 2021 (523) however significantly lower than the highest figure on record, from January 2021 (3809). 57,307 patients waited more than 4 hours from the decision to admit them to admission. This figure is the second highest recorded so far this year, and only slightly lower than May 2019 (61,507).

The percentage of attendances admitted stood at 29.46%. Despite the increase in attendances and admissions, the percentage of attendances admitted is the lowest since September 2019 (29.14%). This figure is significantly lower than the percentage in May 2020 (33.41%). This implies that although attendances and admissions are some of the highest on record, many of the patients presenting at EDs are low acuity.

Booked Attendances:

There were 42,162 booked attendances to Type 1 EDs in May 2021. This again follows a steady increase on previous months (there were 36,540 in April and 32,400 in March). The 4-hour target in Type 1 EDs for booked appointments only was 89.48%, slightly lower than April’s figure of 89.99%. While this shows that the percentage is likely to continue to drop as booked attendances continue to rise, the percentage is still considerably higher than the 4-hour target percentage for non-booked appointments in Type 1 EDs – this stood at only 76.11% in May.

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.