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People in Most Deprived Areas Were Almost Twice as Likely to Visit A&E

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There were almost 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% (1.6 million) in 2019–20, according to official figures released today.

NHS Digital’s Hospital Accident and Emergency Activity 2019/20 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, 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 Accident and Emergency departments ranging from major A&E departments, single speciality, 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% of all attendances during 2019-20 (3.63m attendances). The most popular time of arrival on a Monday is between 10am and midday, accounting for 15.2% of attendances on this day (552,000 attendances).
  • The number of reattendances4 to A&E within 7 days was 1.95 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 85% of arrivals between 9am and 9:59am spending four hours or less
    Looking at all arrival times, 2.3% (520,000) of all attendances in 2019/20 spent more than 12 hours in A&E, compared with 1.5% (333,000) in 2018/19. This measures the entire duration of stay in A&E5.

MSitAE data in the report shows that:

  • There was a 1% increase in attendances to A&E during 2019-20 (25.0 million), compared to 2018-19 (24.8 million) and a 17% increase since 2010–11 (21.4 million)
  • The average growth per year over the period since 2008–09 is 2%, compared with the England population average growth of 1% per year, over a similar period
    Provider level analysis of the figures is also available as part of this release.


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