When was the four-hour A&E target last hit?

Published: 11th May 2017

In brief

Claim

The four-hour accident and emergency target has not been hit in over two years.

Conclusion

The four hour A&E target hasn’t been met in England since July 2015, and the last time it was met over a full year was in 2013/14. The target hasn't been met at “major” A&E departments since June 2013 and hasn’t been above 95% annually since 2010/11.

“The four-hour A&E target has not been hit in over two years.”

Jonathan Ashworth MP, May 7 2017

The government has a target to admit, transfer, or discharge 95% of Accident and Emergency visits within four hours of arrival in England.

The target hasn’t been met since July 2015—the only month that year to hit it—and the last time it was met over a full financial year was in 2013/14.

The proportion of A&E attendances seen within four hours has fallen slowly from 98% in 2009/10 to 89% in 2016/17.

But these figures cover all A&E departments and include things like walk-in centres treating more minor injuries. It’s also possible to see if the target is being met in “major” departments, the kind people might normally think of when they consider A&E.

At these “major” departments, the 95% target hasn’t been met since June 2013. Over a full year the proportion of attendances seen within four hours hasn’t been at 95% since 2010/11. That was the same year the target was changed from 98%, which hasn’t been achieved over a year’s period since records began.


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