Fri, 12 Aug 2022

Emergency care waiting time statistics (April - June 2022)

Northern Ireland Executive
27 Jul 2022, 21 GMT+10

The Department of Health (DoH) today published statistics on the time spent in emergency care departments (ED) throughout Northern Ireland during the months of April, May and June 2022.

The statistical bulletin presents information on all new and unplanned review attendances during April, May and June 2022. 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.

Please note that this statistical release includes information on two new urgent care services (i) PhoneFirst and (ii) Urgent Care Centres, which were introduced in late 2020, to assess patients' needs before arrival at an ED, and ensure they receive the right care, at the right time, and in the right place, outside ED if appropriate. These new services may in part help explain the reduction in the number of patients attending EDs.

This information release is published on the Emergency Care Waiting Times Website.

Key Points

Attendances at Emergency Care Departments:

Urgent and Emergency Care Attendances:

  • In June 2022, 15,142 calls / attendances were received by PhoneFirst and Urgent Care Centre services, from patients who June previously have attended an ED. A total of 2,637 (17.4%) resulted in an attendance at an ED, whilst 12,505 patients did not go on to attend an ED
  • During June 2022, 63,525 patients in total attended an ED, and 12,505 attended PhoneFirst / Urgent Care Centre services without further referral to an ED; a total of 76,030 patients attending all urgent and emergency care services.

Emergency Care Attendances:

  • During June 2022, there were 63,525 attendances at EDs in Northern Ireland, 3,209 (4.8%) less than in June 2021 (66,734).
  • Of the 63,525 ED attendances during June 2022, 55,672 (87.6%) had attended a Type 1 ED, 2,808 (4.4%) attended a Type 2 ED and 5,045 (7.9%) attended a Type 3 ED.
  • Between June 2021 and June 2022, attendances decreased at Type 1 EDs (2,204, 3.8%), Type 2 EDs (355, 11.2%) and Type 3 EDs (650, 11.4%).
  • There were 190,034 attendances at EDs during the quarter ending 30 June 2022, 0.4% (745) more than during the same quarter in 2021 (189,289).

Left before Treatment Complete:

  • During June 2022, 6.9% of all ED attendances left before their treatment was complete, compared with 5.8% in June 2021.

Unplanned Re-Attendances within 7 Days:

  • During June 2022, 3.6% of the 63,525 ED attendances were unplanned review attendances who had returned to the same ED within 7 days of their original attendance for the same condition.

Referrals by GP:

  • June 2022, one in seven (13.6%) attendances at EDs had been referred by a GP, compared with 13.9% in June 2021

Time Spent in Emergency Care Departments:

Performance against Targets

  • Almost half (45.7%) of attendances at Type 1 EDs in June 2022 spent less than 4 hours in ED, compared with 80.2% at Type 2 EDs and 99.4% at Type 3 EDs.
  • Over eight in ten (80.2%) patients attending a Type 2 ED in June 2022 were treated and discharged, or admitted within 4 hours of their arrival, compared with 80.8% in June 2021.
  • Almost all (99.4%) patients attending a Type 3 ED were treated and discharged, or admitted within 4 hours of their arrival, compared with 98.9% in June 2021.
  • Between June 2021 and June 2022, the number waiting over 12 hours increased from 5,488 to 8,192, accounting for 12.9% of attendances in June 2022
  • Almost two thirds (63.7%) of patients attending EDs commenced their treatment within 2 hours of being triaged, compared with 71.7% in June 2021.
  • During the quarter ending 30 June 2022, over half (52.2%) of patients spent less than 4 hours at an ED, compared to 59.6% during the same quarter in 2021.

Time to Triage:

  • The median waiting time from arrival at an ED to triage (initial assessment) by a medical professional was 12 minutes during June 2022, with 95 percent of patients having their care needs assessed for the first time by a medical professional within 1 hour 3 minutes of arrival.

Time to Start of Treatment:

  • During June 2022, the median waiting time from triage to the start of treatment by a medical professional was 1 hour 16 minutes, with 95 percent of patients receiving treatment within 6 hours 24 minutes of being triaged.

Total Time in Emergency Care Department:

  • The median time patients discharged home (not admitted) spent in a Type 1 ED was 3 hours 45 minutes in June 2022, 33 minutes more than the time taken during the same month last year (3 hours 12 minutes).
  • The median time patients who were admitted to hospital spent in a Type 1 ED was 12 hours 35 minutes in June 2022, 3 hours 26 minutes more than the same month last year (9 hours 9 minutes).
  • During June 2021, Altnagelvin Area reported the longest median time spent in ED from arrival to admission (19 hours 52 minutes), whilst the RBHSC reported the shortest time (5 hours 2 minutes).

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