Written by

Peter Rigby - Director of Medical Negligence

A&E departments across England are under increasing pressure, battling against limited NHS funding, chronic understaffing and a higher demand for services: all of which impact patient waiting times.

Using official NHS data, our researchers have ranked every Integrated Care Board (ICB) across England to determine which has the highest waiting times for A&E and emergency admissions.

An ICB is an NHS organisation responsible for planning and coordinating different healthcare services within specific regions of the country. There are 42 ICBs throughout England that are each responsible for meeting the medical needs of a certain area of the population.

 

Which ICB sees the most patients waiting over 12 hours to be admitted?

Our researchers found that, in May 2023, Gloucestershire ICB had the highest percentage of patients waiting over 12 hours to be admitted, following a decision made for a patient to be admitted.

In South West London, 1 in 5 patients waited over 12 hours to be admitted, whilst in North Central London, 1 in 10 patients waited over 12 hours to be admitted- leaving both ranking in the top three worst ICBs for emergency admission wait times.

The top five ICBs in England with the highest rates of Emergency Admission wait times over 12 hours
Ranking Integrated Care Board Emergency Admissions in May 2023 Number of patients spending >12 hours from decision to admit to admission in May 2023 Percentage of patients waiting more than 12 hours from decision to admit to admission (%)
1 NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board 4,020 1,113 27.69
2 NHS South West London Integrated Care Board 9,336 1,875 20.08
3 NHS North Central London Integrated Care Board 9,066 1,614 17.80
4 NHS Lincolnshire Integrated Care Board 5,133 798 15.55
5 NHS Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board 5,138 791 15.40

 

How many ICBs in England are failing to meet the target threshold for admitting patients within 4 hours?

Our researchers found that, in May 2023, the majority of ICBs (64%) were failing to meet the threshold for admitting patients within 4 hours.

In 2010, the operational standard set stated that at least 95% of patients attending A&E should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours. However, in December 2022, an intermediary threshold target of 76% was introduced to be hit by March 2024.

 

Gloucestershire ICB was the furthest away from meeting the four hour target threshold, with 3 in 5 patients waiting over 4 hours from an admittal decision, to being admitted*.

 

The top five ICBs in England failing to meet the 76% target threshold for admitting patients within four hours
Ranking Integrated Care Board Percentage of patients waiting more than 4 hours** from decision to admit to admission (%)
1 NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board 64.56
2 NHS North Central London Integrated Care Board 61.30
3 NHS South West London Integrated Care Board 58.78
4 NHS Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board 58.37
5 Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board 47.89

 

Methodology and sources

Data regarding NHS waiting times for emergency admissions (which includes both Emergency admissions via A&E and other emergency admissions not via A&E) were sourced from official NHS statistics here. Data used from the report covers the period May 2023 and is broken down by the relevant Integrated Care Boards.

*Figure includes those waiting ‘over 4 hours’ and ‘over 12 hours’

Data was sourced and correct as of 22.06.23

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