8 November 2018

Jessica Morris

Research Analyst
Nuffield Trust

Today, NHS England published its Combined Performance Summary, which provides data on key performance measures for August and September of this year. Here we show some of these statistics and how they compare with previous years.

For interactive charts showing the quality of health and social care over time, please refer to our 300+ indicators.

Accident and Emergency

  • NHS England and NHS Improvement set out in their Refreshing NHS Plans for 2018/19 a deliverable for aggregate performance against the 4-hour A&E standard to be at or above 90% in September 2018. This intermediary target was missed.
  • In October 2018, 11% of people attending A&E spent more than 4 hours from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge. This is slightly higher than October of last year, and 2 ½ times as high as it was five years ago.
  • Total A&E attendances almost reached 2.1 million in October 2018, which is 1% higher than the same month last year. There were over 1.3 million attendances in major A&E departments (Type 1).
  • Emergency admissions via A&E have been increasing year-on-year, reaching over 402,000 in October 2018. This is 6% higher than in October last year.
  • 48,650 patients spent more than 4 hours waiting on a trolley from decision to admit to admission in October 2018. 212 patients had a trolley wait of over 12 hours, which is more than 3 ½ times as high as the same month last year, but slightly less than it was two years ago.
  • Only 124 out of 133 major A&E departments (type 1) met the four-hour A&E waiting time target in October 2018.

Per cent spending >4 hours in A&E, Monthly data, NHS England

Total A&E attendances, Monthly data, NHS England

Emergency admissions via A&E, Monthly data, NHS England

Trolley waits: Patients spending >4 hours from decision to admit to admission, NHS England

A&E missed four hour target

Treatment and diagnostic test waiting times

  • The total number of people waiting to start consultant-led elective treatment remained at 4.3 million in September 2018.
  • The proportion of people waiting over 18 weeks to start elective treatment reached 13.3% in September 2018. This is the worst level of performance since January 2009. The referral-to-treatment target has not been met since February 2016.
  • 3,156 people had been waiting over 52 weeks to start consultant-led elective treatment in September 2018, which is almost twice as high as September of last year.
  • In September 2018, 2.7% of patients had been waiting over 6 weeks for a diagnostic test. This is 34% higher than the same month last year.

Trolley waits: Patients spending >4 hours from decision to admit to admission, NHS England

Elective and diagnostic waiting times

Delayed transfers of care

  • The total number of delayed transfer of care days was 144,267 in September 2018, which is 14% lower than in September 2017, but 7% higher than it was three months ago.

Delayed transfers of care

Cancer waiting times

  • In September 2018, 21.8% of patients had been waiting longer than two months to start their first treatment for cancer following a GP urgent referral.
  • The 62-day cancer target has only been met in one month over the last four years.
  • Alongside this there has been an increase in the number of cancer cases being referred, from 9,094 in September 2010 to 12,839 in September 2018.

Cancer waiting times

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