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Emergency Care Waiting Time Statistics (April – June 2013)

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) today published statistics on the time spent waiting in emergency care departments within Northern Ireland during the months of April, May and June 2013.
Thursday, 25 July 2013

The statistical bulletin presents information on all new and unplanned review attendances during the months of April, May and June 2013. It also details the monthly performance against the DHSSPS Ministerial target for emergency waiting times at emergency care departments.

Key Points

The key findings presented in the statistics release are listed below.

Latest Position (June 2013):

  • During June 2013, 77.8% of patients attending Type 1 emergency care departments were either treated and discharged home, or admitted within four hours, compared with 90.6% attending Type 2 departments and 100.0% attending Type 3 departments (Table 2).
  • In June 2013, 249 (0.4%) out of a total 58,319 attendances at emergency care departments in Northern Ireland waited longer than 12 hours to be either treated and discharged home, or admitted (Table 2).

Position during last three months (April - June 2013): Between April and June 2013:

  • The percentage of patients attending Type 1 emergency care departments that were either treated and discharged home or admitted within four hours increased, from 67.2% to 77.8% (Figure1, Table 2).
  • In Type 2 emergency care departments, the percentage of patients attending that were either treated and discharged home or admitted within four hours increased, from 82.6% to 90.6% (Figure 1, Table 2).
  • The percentage of patients attending Type 3 emergency care departments that were either treated and discharged home or admitted within four hours remained at 100.0% (Figure 1, Table 2).
  • The number of patients that waited longer than 12 hours to be either treated and discharged home, or admitted, decreased markedly (759, 75.3%) from 1,008 to 249. In particular, performance improved notably at the Antrim Area between April and June, from 335 to 0 (Table 2).

Position compared to same month last year (June 2012 - June 2013): Between June 2012 and June 2013:

  • In Type 1 emergency care departments, the percentage of patients attending that were either treated and discharged home or admitted within four hours increased by 0.7 percentage points, from 77.1% to 77.8% (Figure 4, Table 4).
  • In Type 2 emergency care departments, the percentage of patients attending that were either treated and discharged home or admitted within four hours decreased by 1.5 percentage points, from 92.1% to 90.6% (Figure 7, Table 6).
  • In Type 3 emergency care departments, the percentage of patients attending that were either treated and discharged home or admitted within four hours remained at 100.0% (Table 8).
  • The number of patients that waited longer than 12 hours to be either treated and discharged home, or admitted, decreased slightly (6, 2.4%) from 255 to 249. In particular, performance improved notably at the Antrim Area, from 93 to 0 (Table 2).

Attendances

  • There were a total of 58,319 attendances at emergency care departments in Northern Ireland during June 2013, compared with 59,948 in May 2013 and 59,275 in April 2013 (Table 2).

The information release is published on the Departmental website

Notes to editors:

  1. The information detailed in this statistical release is collected monthly using the Emergency Care (EC1) information return. The EC1 return records all new and unplanned review attendances in each emergency care department across Northern Ireland.
  2. It should be noted that since 1st July 2011, Hospital Information Branch has been accessing patient level data on emergency care waiting times from the Regional Data Warehouse for those emergency care departments using the Northern Ireland Regional Accident & Emergency System (NIRAES). Information from emergency care departments using other administrative systems to record emergency care waiting times continues to be sourced from the aggregate EC1 return.
  3. The figures detailed in this release represent the total time spent in an emergency care department from arrival until admission, transfer or discharge. All new attendances and unplanned review attendances at emergency care departments with a departure time, per calendar month are included. They do not include planned review attendances.
  4. Time is measured from when a patient arrives at the emergency care department (time of arrival is recorded at registration or triage whichever is earlier (clock starts)) until the patient departs from the emergency care department (time of departure is defined as when the patient's clinical care episode is completed within the emergency care department (clock stops).
  5. There are three separate categories of emergency care facility included in this publication:
    Type 1 Emergency Care Department - A consultant-led service with designated accommodation for the reception of emergency care patients, providing both emergency medicine and emergency surgical services on a round the clock basis.
    Type 2 Emergency Care Department - A consultant-led service with designated accommodation for the reception of emergency care patients, but which does not provide both emergency medicine and emergency surgical services and/or has time-limited opening hours.
    Type 3 Emergency Care Department – A minor injury unit with designated accommodation for the reception of patients with a minor injury and/or illness. It may be doctor or nurse-led. A defining characteristic of this service is that it treats at least minor injuries and/or illnesses and can be routinely accessed without appointment.
    Further details on types of emergency care department are available in the publication.
  6. Figures incorporate all returns and amendments received from HSC Trusts up to 24 July 2013.
  7. The current Ministerial target for emergency care waiting times in 2013/14 states that: ‘95% of patients attending Types 1, 2 or 3 A&E departments are either treated and discharged home, or admitted, within four hours of their arrival in the department, and; no patient attending any A&E department should wait longer than 12 hours either to be treated and discharged home, or admitted.’
    Further information on Emergency Care Statistics is available from:
    Hospital Information Branch
    Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
    Annexe 2, Castle Buildings Stormont, BT4 3SQ
    Tel: 028 90 522504
    Fax: 028 90 523288
    Email: mailto:hib@dhsspsni.gov.uk
    Internet: DHSSPS NI website.
  8. Media queries to DHSSPS Information Office on 028 90 520505, or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be immediately returned.