House of Commons Library

NHS Key Statistics: England, January 2018

Published Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Summary of demand, performance and capacity for NHS services in England. Covers areas such as: A&E statistics, waiting lists, ambulance data, delayed discharges, and staffing levels including doctors and nurses.

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The NHS in England has experience increased demand pressures in recent years

Emergency admissions per day, 2011-2017

  • The number of emergency admissions to hospital has risen by 16% over five years.
  • There are an average of 4,800 more A&E attendaces each day than five years ago.
  • The waiting list for treatment has risen 47% faster than population growth since 2012.


Performance on many waiting times measures has declined

Patients spending longer than 4 hours in major A&E departments, 2011-2017

  • 16.5% of hospital A&E attendees spent longer than 4 hours in the department in 2017, compared with 5.6% in 2012.
  • Waiting times for consultant-led treatment have been above the 18-week target since early 2016.
  • The number of 'trolley waits' for admission has quadrupled over five years.


Improvement is evident on some measures, and staff numbers have increased in most categories

Delayed discharges per day, 2011-2017

  • The number of delayed discharges has fallen by 20% in the past year, after a sustained rise between 2014 and 2016.
  • The number of hospital doctors has risen by 9.5% since 2012.
  • The number fo GPs and NHS nurses has fallen slightly over the past year.


The full PDF briefing paper examines trends in the following areas:

  • Accident & Emergency attendance and performance
  • Ambulance demand and response times
  • Waiting times and waiting lists for routine treatment
  • Waiting times for cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Cancelled operations
  • Delayed discharges and transfers of care
  • Diagnostic waiting times and activity
  • Waiting times for mental health treatment
  • Workforce numbers for doctors, nurses and other staff
  • Hospital activity, referrals and admissions
  • Bed availability and occupancy

For information on NHS funding and expenditure, please see our separate briefing.


Health is a devolved area. These statistics relate to the NHS in England only.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7281

Author: Carl Baker

Topics: Ambulance services, Health services, Health staff and professions

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