About this release
This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides an update of key statistics on attendances at Accident and Emergency (A&E) services across Scotland.
Please note that the data in this publication is based on unplanned attendances only. It does not include Recall/Return Planned data and the New Planned category that was introduced as part of the Redesign of Urgent care.
The information includes trends in the number of attendances and admissions and performance against the 4 hour standard. Please take into account the notes and metadata when interpreting this data.
Large decreases in attendances at A&E services in NHSScotland were observed in spring 2020 winter 2020/21 due to the measures put in place to respond to COVID-19. Since spring 2021 attendances at A&E have been rising and are getting closer to the pre-COVID levels.
From the summer of 2021 performance against the four hour standard has dropped below 80% and has remained at this rate for a prolonged period of time.
During October 2021:
- There were 124,211 attendances at A&E services in Scotland.
- 73.5% of attendances at A&E services were seen and resulted in a subsequent admission, transfer or discharge within 4 hours.
- 8,181 (6.8%) patients spent more than 8 hours in an A&E department.
- 2,533 (2.1%) patients spent more than 12 hours in an A&E department.
- 26.4% of attendances led to an admission to hospital.
Since 2007, the national standard (external website) for A&E is that 95 percent of patients to wait no longer than 4 hours from arrival to admission, discharge or transfer for A&E treatment. This standard is seen as a milestone towards returning to the 98% standard. This standard applies to all attendances for emergency care including attendances in trolleyed areas of assessment units as well as Emergency Departments (ED) and minor injury units (MIU).
Time spent in A&E is subject to seasonal variation, and this publication includes rolling annual statistics covering a full year of data as well as information based on activity for the latest month. The detailed A&E analysis is supplied online in an Excel Workbook with interactive tables and charts showing: number of attendances, patients spending over 4, 8 and 12 hours in A&E and destination on discharge from A&E by NHS board, hospital and for all Emergency Departments. A data file (csv format) containing data by hospital and month is also available.
Find out more
Further information can be found on the Emergency Care pages (external website) of the Data and Intelligence website.
The weekly Emergency Department Activity and Waiting Times publication was also released on 7 December 2021 including new data for the week ending Sunday 28 November 2021. This publication covers Emergency Departments only and is derived from aggregate information supplied by NHS boards on the number of attendances and 4, 8, and 12 hour waits.
A selection of information from this publication is included in NHS Performs (external website) which is a website that brings together a range of information on how hospitals and NHS boards within NHSScotland are performing.
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