News story

A&E quality indicators: May 2011

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The latest provisional Accident and Emergeny quality indicators for England are published today.

The figures include information on data quality, data coverage and performance for May 2011 for:

  • left department before being seen for treatment
  • re-attendance
  • time to initial assessment (for ambulance patients)
  • time to treatment in A&E
  • total time in A&E.

The main findings include:

  • Nationally, 3.0% of attendances at A&E departments were recorded as having left A&E before being seen for treatment - significantly lower than in April (3.4%). This rate ranged from 0% to 9.5% (0% to 10.1% for April) across different organisations.
  • 7.3% of A&E attendances were re-attendances within 7 days of a previous attendance - lower than in April (7.5%). This rate ranged from 1.4% to 14.1% across different organisations.
  • Nationally, the median average time to initial assessment for A&E attendances where the patient was brought in by ambulance was 5 minutes (6 minutes in April). The 95th percentile (i.e. the time to assessment 95% of cases were shorter than) was 1 hour 11 minutes (1 hour 54 minutes in April).
  • The median average time to treatment was 57 minutes (unchanged since April). The 95th percentile was 3 hours 15 minutes.
  • The median average total time in A&E for all patients was 2 hours 9 minutes. The 95th percentile was 4 hours 20 minutes (similar to April at 4 hours 18 minutes).

There remains a challenge for some NHS organisations to improve data quality and coverage. In particular, the 95th percentile is a very sensitive measure, and it is likely that high values here reflect poor data quality. Note that changes in reported performance may reflect improved data quality as well as underlying change.

More information

Provisional Accident & Emergency Quality Indicators for England: experimental statistics by provider for May 2011