Reliable monthly A&E data show NHS Scotland 58% and 24% better on 12 and 4 hour waits

Scotland’s media love to pounce on a weekly dip in A&E performance, delighted that it can be used to imply a trend that even they know cannot be shown to be there.

Monthly data are better.

NHS England are fast at one thing; getting the monthly data out. Their November 2022 A&E data was out on December 8 2022. They saw 54.5% in their Type 1 (consultant-led) departments within 4 hours.

12 hours? Sneakily they tell us 37 837 but don’t do the percentage for us. It’s 6.8%.

NHS Scotland data are just out. 67.5% were seen and admitted within 4 hours [24% more in Scotland]. Only 4.3% waited more than 12 hours [58% more in England].


To get images of Scotland’s A&E departments under pressure, I tried various combinations of ‘Scotland A&E crisis pressure’ but could get nothing more dramatic than the above. Change the search to England, and I got this:



5 thoughts on “Reliable monthly A&E data show NHS Scotland 58% and 24% better on 12 and 4 hour waits

  1. It is my understanding that the 12 hour wait statistic published by nhs England is not directly comparable with the nhs Scotland one.

    For England it is 12 hours from the time of the decision to admit. For Scotland it is the wait of all patients from arrival until discharge, transfer or admission.

    So someone waiting 12 hours in England is classed as a ‘trolley wait’ and comes after however long they’ve waited from arrival at A&E to the time a decision to admit is taken.

    The RCEM wants nhs England to report as in Scotland (and as in NI and Wales).

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Indeed! On 24 November 2022, the President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine commented on NHS England’s waiting time statistics for A&E:

        “. we must have transparency of data that does not hide patient experiences and dangerously long stays. We must see the routine, monthly publication of 12-hour data MEASURED FROM TIME OF ARRIVAL in Emergency Departments – this will be a catalyst of transformation and change that will drive improvement. ANY OTHER 12-HOUR DATA IS DISINGENUOUS ABOUT THE TRUE NATURE OF PATIENT WAITS.” (my emphasis)

        One would look very long and hard to find ANY corporate media or BBC News coverage of this ‘disingenuous’ charge regarding NHS England’s reporting. Similarly for comment on this by the political opposition in England to the Tory government.

        If about Scotland, the word would be prominent in headlines and used as an opportunity for expressions of outrage by the Baillie/Gulhane scalp hunters!


        Liked by 2 people

  2. Note that the “ED-only” result for Scotland in November was 64.1% against the 4 hour target. This is the result that should be compared with the Type 1 result for NHS England. Still a lot better in Scotland!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. George, just for clarification, could you confirm how you got the 64.1% compared to John’s 67.5%, curious as to reason for 3.4% difference


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