A&E stats ‘may have to be recalculated’

Latest news

    Emergency careImage copyright Science Photo Library

    NHS hospital trusts in England may have to recalculate A&E performance figures from last October onwards.

    The UK Statistics Authority has told NHS England to explain changes to the recording of A&E data.

    It says the changes – highlighted by BBC News – could have left people reaching “misleading conclusions”.

    They raise questions over some trusts’ performance on the highest profile NHS performance target – that patients in A&E are seen within four hours.

    In a letter to a senior official in NHS England, Ed Humpherson, of the UKSA, says changes suggested by NHS officials could have “be having impact on recording practice.”

    Ambulance A&E delays hit one in eight

    Long A&E waits: 3m a year wait over four hours

    The official target requires 95% of patients to be treated, assessed or discharged within four hours, a figure the NHS has failed to meet since July 2015.

    A hospital trust’s performance figures include the main accident and emergency department (known as Type 1) and minor injuries or care centres (known as Type 3).

    These centres tend to see and treat patients a lot more quickly than those needing emergency care.

    Data in these clinics tends to pull up the overall performance of a trust. This is confirmed by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.

    The BBC has seen emails sent by NHS Improvement, the body responsible for overseeing trusts, in October last year.

    In one email titled “counting of A&E performance” sent to trusts in the south of England, it says they have committed to meeting the 95% target by March 2018 but that trusts had marginally failed to make the required progress.

    Sorry, your browser is unable to display this content. Please upgrade to a more recent browser.

    1. A&E

    Target hitTarget not hit

    2. Cancer care

    Target hitTarget not hit

    3. Planned ops & care

    Target hitTarget not hit

    Figures are assessed against targets before rounding

    When was the target last hit?

    When was the target last hit?

    When was the target last hit?

    If you can’t see the NHS Tracker, click or tap here.

    The email urged trusts to make sure they counted all their performance.

    It said if “there is an urgent activity undertaken by a walk-in centre or urgent treatment centre or other provider within your local delivery board that currently is not reporting activity – we can work with you to apportion the activity to the main provider”.

    The implication is that including these centres would help improve overall performance.

    This, and another email sent later in October by NHS Improvement, was seen by trusts as a request to add in data from walk-in centres not run by them and not on hospital grounds.

    This is in direct conflict with clear guidance issued in November 2015 by NHS England, which says walk-in centre data can be included only if the trust has clinical responsibility for the service or if it co-located on the trust’s grounds.

    Six trusts

    Analysis by the BBC shows as least six trusts in England have seen an improvement in their all A&E types four-hour performance figures in October compared with September by adding in walk-in centres not on their site and not run by the trusts.

    It is thought some trusts have seen their four-hour performance improve by nearly much as 5%.

    University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust A&E performance figures now include additional data for the City of Coventry Walk In Centre, which is run by Virgin Care Services and contracted by the local commissioning group

    Another email from Jim Mackey, the outgoing chief executive of NHS Improvement, to trusts in October also wanted to make sure alternative pathways to A&E – such as urgent clinics – were included in trusts’ performance data.

    None of the changes is clear on the dataset produced by NHS England each month.

    The data produced by NHS England for affected trusts is no longer directly comparable from October 2017 onwards with the corresponding months of preceding years.

    An NHS Improvement official said it intended to address variation in the way A&E activity was being reported to ensure all trusts were reporting the same activity on the same basis.

    “This change was not intended to artificially inflate A&E performance figures,” the official said.

    NHS Improvement denied any attempt had been made to secretly change the way figures were reported.

    The Department of Health and Social Care said data should be collected as NHS England had suggested “so we have a clear and consistent picture of A&E performance across the country”.

    Figures for December 2017 show 85.1% of people were seen admitted, treated or discharged in England in all types of A&E department in four hours, the same as in January 2017, the worst performance on record.

    The BBC understands Monday’s intervention by the UK statistics Authority means the NHS will have to seriously consider reviewing and republishing data from October, when the NHS has been dealing with winter pressures.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42775218

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42775218

    In the same category are

    Lidl bottom of recyclable packaging survey, says Which? Image copyright Getty Images Up to a third of plastic packaging used in supermarkets is either difficult to recycle or not recyclable at all, a cons...
    London Bridge terror attack heroes on Civilian Gallantry List Image caption Eight people were killed in the London Bridge terror attack Heroes of the London Bridge terror attack, including two who died, have ...
    Poverty link to early death ‘scandalous’ Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The government says it is taking action to help people live longer and healthier lives People living in...
    Heatwave: Is there more crime in hot weather? Image copyright Getty Images Police forces are reporting record numbers of 999 calls, which some are linking to the recent weeks of hot weather.West...
    The Sheffield estate where the garage has become an art gallery Image caption Joanne Marsden was born in one of the Park Hill flats, and still lives on the site When Joanne Marsden was a child, the low concrete...
    Five charts describe the UK’s sensible youth Image copyright Getty Images Rebellions of young people have been recorded for decades, bucking trends and breaking the rules before entering the wo...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.