The Latest Emergency Care Waiting Time Stats

Emergency Care Waiting Time Statistics (July - September 2020) for hospitals in Northern Ireland.

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Emergency Care Waiting Time Statistics (July – September 2020) for hospitals in Northern Ireland.

The Department of Health (DoH) today published statistics on the time spent in emergency care departments (ED) throughout Northern Ireland during the months of July, August and September 2020.

The statistical bulletin presents information on all new and unplanned review attendances during July, August and September 2020. It details information on the time spent in EDs during each of these months including; the monthly performance against the DoH emergency care waiting times target for EDs and the time waited for key milestones during a patient’s journey through ED, whilst they are being cared for in an ED, including the time to triage and time to start of treatment.

The Downe Hospital Emergency Department A&E is currently closed due to arrangements to combat the Covid-19 outbreak.

This information release is published on the Departmental website at: 

www.health-ni.gov.uk/articles/emergency-care-waiting-times

The Key points

Attendances at Emergency Care Departments:

Attendances:

  • During September 2020, there were 58,543 attendances at EDs in Northern Ireland, 12,764 (17.9%) less than in September 2019 (71,307).
  • Of the 58,543 ED attendances during September 2020, 48,824 (83.4%) had attended a Type 1 ED, 3,725 (6.4%) attended a Type 2 ED and 5,994 (10.2%) attended a Type 3 ED.
  • Between September 2019 and September 2020, attendances decreased at Type 1 EDs (8,756, 15.2%), Type 2 EDs (2,134, 36.4%) and Type 3 EDs (by 1,874, 23.8%).
  • There were 178,423 attendances at EDs during the quarter ending 30th September 2020, 16.9% (36,607) less than during the same quarter in 2019 (214,730).

Left before treatment complete:

  • During September 2020, 3.4% of all ED attendances left before their treatment was complete.

Unplanned re-attendances within seven days:

  • During September 2020, 3.2% of the 58,543 ED attendances were unplanned review attendances who had returned to the same ED within seven days of their original attendance for the same condition.

Referrals by GP:

  • Over one in six (15.9%) attendances at EDs in September 2020 had been referred by a GP, compared with 16.3% in September 2019.

Time spent in Emergency Care Departments:

Performance against targets

  • Six in ten (60.4%) attendances at Type 1 EDs in September 2020 were treated and discharged, or admitted within 4 hours of their arrival, compared with 59.6% in September 2019.
  • Over eight in ten (83.9%) patients attending a Type 2 ED in September 2020 were treated and discharged, or admitted within 4 hours of their arrival, compared with 78.7% in September 2019.
  • Almost all (99.6%) patients attending a Type 3 ED were treated and discharged, or admitted within 4 hours of their arrival, compared to 99.4% in September 2019.
  • Between September 2019 and September 2020, the number waiting longer than 12 hours increased from 3,481 to 4,214, accounting for 7.2% of all attendances in September 2020.
  • Over eight in ten (84.1%) patients attending EDs commenced their treatment within 2 hours of being triaged, compared with 75.6% in September 2019.
  • During the quarter ending 30th September 2020, over six in ten (65.9%) of patients waited less than 4 hours at an ED, compared with 66.9% during the same quarter in 2019

Time to triage:

  • The median waiting time from arrival at an ED to triage (initial assessment) by a medical professional was 9 minutes during September 2020, with 95 percent of patients having their care needs assessed for the first time by a medical professional within 47 minutes of arrival.

Time to start of treatment:

  • During September 2020, the median waiting time from triage to the start of treatment by a medical professional was 36 minutes, with 95 percent of patients receiving treatment within 3 hours 36 minutes of being triaged.

Total time in Emergency Care Department:

  • The median time patients who were discharged home (not admitted) spent in a Type 1 ED was 2 hours 43 minutes in September 2020, 11 minutes less than the time taken during the same month the previous year (2 hour 54 minutes).
  • The median time patients who were admitted to hospital spent in a Type 1 ED was 8 hours 45 minutes in September 2020, 1 hour 23 minutes more than the same month the previous year (7 hours 22 minutes).
  • During September 2020, Craigavon Area reported the longest median waiting time from arrival to admission (13 hours 46 minutes), whilst the RBHSC reported the shortest time (4 hours 10 minutes)