Emergency admissions and delayed transfers grow despite national efforts

The number of hospital emergency admissions rose 2.8 per cent in 2016-17 to 4.3 million, with March this year seeing the largest ever number in a single month, analysis reveals.

Nuffield Trust analysis shared with HSJ shows total A&E admissions rose from 4.15 million to 4.26 million year on year, continuing a rising trend, despite efforts by national leaders and the NHS as a whole to stem the growth (see table).

Official data published by NHS England today revealed there were 370,102 admissions via emergency departments in March, 365,116 of which were at full – or type one – emergency departments.

Nuffield Trust director of research and chief economist John Appleby told HSJ that addressing it could take years, not least because the reasons behind rising admissions were not well understood.

He said: “The decision to admit to A&E is not taken lightly [but] we don’t 100 per cent understand why [emergency admissions] are going up…It’ll be partly linked to attendances, partly to do with what is going on inside A&E departments in terms of dealing with the target, it’s partly to do with changes in medical practice.”

Full article in The HSJ, 11 May 2017