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Date: 1 August 2015

Time: 23:12

Total time spent in A&E

What does this indicator mean?

Total time spent in the A&E department looks at the time from arrival in A&E to the time the patient leaves the A&E department (by admission to hospital, transfer to another organisation or discharge).

What is good performance?

Patient delays should be minimised but care should not be hurried. Good practice would be for 95% of patients to spend a total of 240 minutes (4 hours) or less in the A&E department. It is recognised that some patients with complex needs for example may require a longer time in A&E.

How is UHB performing?

In May 2015 95% of all patients spent a total time of 239 minutes (3 hours, 59 minutes) or less in the A&E department. The average (median) total time patients spent in A&E was 161 minutes (2 hours, 41 minutes). The latest available national performance data shows that 95% of all patients spent a total time of 284 minutes (4 hours, 44 minutes) or less in A&E in February 2015.

95% of patients who were not admitted to hospital spent a total time of 236 minutes (3 hours, 56 minutes) or less in A&E. 95% of patients who were admitted to hospital spent a total time of 239 minutes (3 hours 59 minutes) or less in A&E.

The total time spent in A&E is longer for admitted patients because they tend to have more complex needs. Admitted patients may require input from a number of specialties or need time for their condition to stabilise before they can be safely transferred to an appropriate specialist bed.

Graph: A&E clinical quality indicator: time spent in A&E

What is UHB doing to improve performance?

The Trust aims to continuously improve overall performance and focus on reducing the total time spent in A&E by admitted patients. The Trust has introduced a senior site team to support the timely escalation of patients through the Emergency Department to designated specialist wards. The Trust is also continuing to improve the responsiveness of clinical specialities to the Emergency Department by establishing appropriate specialist referral pathways

UHB data quality

Trusts are expected to have less than 5% of patients with missing data. The Trust’s patient management system ensures that all patients have times recorded so there is no missing data for this indicator.