NHS England reported that more than 85% of patients were treated or assessed within the 4 hour target window within A&E departments during the last quarter of 2017. However, it has come to light that these figure are almost certainly wrong with the new alternative figures being hidden within the NHS England website.

Ed Humpherson, director general for regulation at the UK Statistics Authority, wrote to NHS England expressing his disappointment and concern that this issue undermines public confidence in official statistics generated by this data.

The ramifications of misleading figures relates to how NHS services are funded. A&E figures are a prevalent factor when assessing NHS performance and any inconsistencies may affect the level of funds provided to hospitals by NHS national organisations.

Earlier in the year it was reported that a number of hospitals throughout England were including patients from other local walk-in centres into their A&E data. However, an accurate record of what data was being added and by who, was not kept. This resulted in A&E performance in at least six hospitals being reported as improving significantly in October 2017, leading to suspicions that hospitals were being encouraged to include data in order to bulk up their figures.

NHS England has explained that this additional data could have affected national A&E performance figures by between 0.11 to 0.18 percentage. As such, Ed Humpherson has requested NHS leaders to immediately provide an account and explanation of these issues.

Our specialist Clinical Negligence team has years of experience in dealing with cases arising from accident and emergency failures. If you think that you, or a loved one may have been affected by an A&E failure, please contact one of our national team:-

Siobhan Genever, Director (Nottingham) on 0845 271 6793 or siobhan.genever@freeths.co.uk

Carolyn Lowe, Partner (Oxford/Milton Keynes) on 0186 578 1019 or carolyn.lowe@freeths.co.uk

Karen Reynolds, Partner (Derby/Stoke) on 0845 272 5677 or karen.reynolds@freeths.co.uk

Jane Williams, Partner (Leicester) on 0845 272 5724 or jane.williams@freeths.co.uk

For further information please visit our website at: http://www.freeths.co.uk/legal-services/individuals/clinical-negligence/