21 September 2023
New data show the significant effect of continual and increasing pressure faced by the emergency care system in England, as the Royal College of Emergency Medicine states ‘the emergency care system is under severe pressure’.
The latest annual A&E data for 2022/23 published today (21 September 2023) by NHS digital show record numbers of patients attended A&Es in 2022/23.
Despite record attendances, fewer patients were admitted. However, one in 10 patients (9.2%) who were admitted to hospital from A&E waited 12 hours or more from when the clinical decision to admit them was made.
The latest annual Hospital Accident & Emergency activity data for 2022-2023, published by NHS Digital today (21 September 2023), show:
These data come a week after the Prime Minister held a winter summit at Downing Street with health leaders. RCEM President Dr Adrian Boyle, who attended this summit, said: “We are glad that this problem is being taken seriously at the highest level.”
Last week’s monthly A&E performance figures for August 2023 showed that over 112,000 patients faced a 12 hour wait from their time of arrival and dangerous levels of bed occupancy.
Dr Adrian Boyle, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, commented:
“Last year and last winter were dire.
“Record attendances met with the significant shortfall of staff and beds meant huge numbers of patients faced severe delays for care that we know are associated with increased harm and even deaths.
“Despite these record attendances, fewer patients were admitted. However, those that were admitted waited longer than ever before.
“We know that it is the elderly, the sickest and most vulnerable, and those experiencing a mental health crisis that face the longest waits for a bed.
“We are pleased that the government has committed to regularly publishing 12-hour length of stay data measured from the time arrival, as this is shining a light on this problem.
“However, since the government published their urgent and emergency care delivery plan in January 2023 we have not seen sufficient progress on reducing long stays for patients who need to be admitted to hospital.
“As we head into what will likely be another difficult winter, we urge the government to adopt our five priorities to #ResuscitateEmergencyCare.
“The emergency care system is under severe pressure. Resuscitating it is a necessity.”