A&E delays linked to tens of thousands of patient deaths

Royal College of Emergency Medicine has analysed and report that A&E delays may have led to more than 20,000 patient deaths last year. The “hidden data” said 1.65 million people waited more than 12 hours for treatment after arriving in A&E departments in 2022 – with 23,003 of these later dying as a result.

The RCEM warned that long waiting times can have “catastrophic consequences for patient safety and mortality”. Dr Adrian Boyle, president of the RCEM, said: “For a long time, we have known that the true scale of long waits in emergency departments has been hidden.

“Long-waiting times are associated with serious patient harm and patient deaths – the scale shown here for 2022 is deeply distressing.”

The figures came after the RCEM sent a Freedom of Information request to NHS Digital to discover the number of patients who waited for more than 12 hours from their time of arrival in A&E.

Full story in The Independent, 28 February 2023