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A&E attendances twice as high in the most deprived areas of England as in the least deprived

There were more than twice as many attendances to Accident and Emergency departments in England for the 10% of the population living in the most deprived areas (3.1 million), compared with the least deprived 10% (1.5 million) in 2018-19.
NHS Digital’s Hospital Accident and Emergency Activity 2018/19, created in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement, also shows that attendances for the 20% of the population living in the most deprived areas accounted for 27% of all A&E attendances (5.9 million attendances).
The report brings together newly published data from NHS Digital’s Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) with previously published data from NHS England and NHS Improvement’s A&E Attendances and Emergency Admissions Monthly Situation Reports (MSitAE). It includes attendances from all types of Accident and Emergency departments ranging from major A&E departments, single specialty, consultant-led emergency departments to Minor Injury Units and Walk-in Centres.
HES data in the report shows for 2018/19:
  • Monday is the busiest day of the week and the most popular time of arrival is between 10am and 12pm
  • The number of reattendances to A&E within 7 days was 1.9 million and accounted for 8.7% of all reported attendances
  • Patients arriving from 8am to 10am generally spent the shortest time in A&E with 16% of patients arriving between 8am and 8:59am spending one hour or less; and 90% of arrivals between 9am and 9:59am spending four hours or less
  • Looking at all arrival times, 1.5% (330,000) of all attendances in 2018/19 spent more than 12 hours in A&E, compared with 1.6% (333,000) in 2017/18. This measures the entire duration of stay in A&E.
MSitAE data in the report shows that:
  • There was a 4% increase in attendances to A&E during 2018-19 (24.8 million), compared to 2017-18 (23.8 million) and a 21% increase since 2009-10 (20.5 million)
  • The average growth per year over the period since 2009-10 is 2%, compared with the England population average growth of 1% per year, over a similar period