There were almost twice as many attendances to A&E departments in England from the most deprived areas than from the least.

New data has revealed that the poorest 10 per cent (3.1 million) of the population had twice as many A&E attendees than the least deprived 10 per cent (1.6 million) in 2019-20. NHS Digital’s Hospital Accident and Emergency Activity 2019/20, published today, shows that attendances for the 20 per cent of the population living in the most deprived areas accounted for 27 per cent of all A&E attendances (5.9 million attendances).

The report, created in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement, 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 A&E departments ranging from major departments, single specialty, consultant-led emergency departments to Minor Injury Units and Walk-in Centres.

HES data in the report shows for 2019/20:

  • Monday is the busiest day of the week, accounting for 16 per cent of all attendances during 2019-20 (3.63 million attendances). The most popular time of arrival on a Monday is between 10am and midday, accounting for 15.2 per cent of attendances on this day (552,000 attendances).
  • The number of re-attendances to A&E within 7 days was 1.95 million and accounted for 8.7 per cent of all reported attendances
  • Patients arriving from 8am to 10am generally spent the shortest time in A&E with 16 per cent of patients arriving between 8am and 8:59am spending one hour or less; and 85% of arrivals between 9am and 9:59am spending four hours or less
  • Looking at all arrival times, 2.3 per cent (520,000) of all attendances in 2019/20 spent more than 12 hours in A&E, compared with 1.5 per cent (333,000) in 2018/19. This measures the entire duration of stay in A&E.

MSitAE data in the report shows that:

  • There was a one per cent increase in attendances to A&E during 2019-20 (25.0 million), compared to 2018-19 (24.8 million) and a 17 per cent increase since 2010-11 (21.4 million)
  • The average growth per year over the period since 2008-09 is two per cent, compared with the England population average growth of one per cent per year, over a similar period

Read the full report here.