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Emergency care waiting time statistics (September 2010)

Friday, 29 October 2010

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 September 2010.

The statistical bulletin presents information on all new and unplanned review attendances during September 2010. It also details the performance of each HSC Trust and Hospital against the DHSSPS Priorities for Action waiting time target for emergency care departments.

Key Points – September 2010

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

During the month of September 2010, 83.1% of patients were either treated and discharged or admitted within four hours of their arrival in an emergency care department, compared to 84.7% in August 2010 and 86.1% in July 2010 (Figure 1, Table 1).

During September 2010, all (100.0%) attendances at Type 3 emergency care departments were treated and discharged, or admitted within four hours of their arrival, compared with 90.7% in Type 2 departments and 80.0% in Type 1 departments (Table 4).

A total of 321 patients waited longer than 12 hours across all emergency care departments in September 2010, compared to 147 in August 2010 and 126 in July 2010 (Table 1).

There were a total of 58,095 attendances at emergency care departments for the month of September 2010, compared with 60,278 in August 2010 and 58,358 in July 2010 (Figure 1, Table 1).

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. 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 all ‘Unplanned Re-Attendances’ at emergency care departments with a departure time, per calendar month are included. They do not include planned review attendances.

3. 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).

4. 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.

5. Figures incorporate all returns and amendments received from HSC Trusts up to 27 October 2010.

6. The Priorities for Action target for 2010/11 states that: ‘From April 2010, HSC Board and Trusts should ensure 95% of patients attending any A&E department are either treated and discharged home, or admitted, within four hours of their arrival in the department. No patient should wait longer than 12 hours’.

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:

Internet:

7. Media queries to DHSSPS Information Office on 028 90 520579, or out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be immediately returned.