NHS performance summary: June – July 2020

Our monthly round-up of the latest NHS performance data.

Latest data

Published: 13/08/2020

Today, NHS England published the latest data on key performance measures for June and July of this year. Here we show some of these statistics and how they compare with previous years.

During this unprecedented time for the health service, QualityWatch will continue to provide independent scrutiny of the health and social care system as far as possible. The most recent data published today reflects dramatic changes in access and service use as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. In light of these shifts in activity, we have changed the presentation of some of our usual charts, to aid interpretation. It is also worth noting that NHS England have suspended data collection from April to September 2020 for some of their performance statistics, including delayed transfers of care.

In March 2019, the Clinically-Led Review of NHS Access Standards Interim Report was released, proposing some significant changes to many of the targets reported on here. A six-month Progress Report from the NHS Medical Director was also published in October 2019. Field testing of the proposed new standards began in 2019, however due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, the publication of the review’s recommendations has been delayed until later this year.

For urgent and emergency care, the field test sites have not been submitting four-hour performance data since May 2019. The time series presented here excludes the field testing sites and so is comparable across months and years. For elective care, performance of the field test sites will continue to be included in the national time series, so the data is fully comparable over time.

For interactive charts showing the quality of health and social care over time, please refer to our 200+ indicators.

A&E

  • In July 2020, there were 1.6 million total A&E attendances – 30% lower than in July 2019 but 13% higher than in June 2020. 1.1 million of these were attendances to major (type 1) A&E departments.
  • There was an average of 51,264 total A&E attendances per day in July 2020.
  • Emergency admissions via A&E have generally been increasing year-on-year, but fell dramatically in April 2020. In July 2020, there were 362,770 emergency admissions via A&E – 13% lower than in July 2019 but 7% higher than in June 2020.
  • In July 2020, 7.9% of people attending A&E spent more than four hours from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge, a slight worsening of waiting times compared to June 2020.
  • 20,928 patients spent more than four hours waiting on a trolley from a decision to admit to admission in July 2020 – 64% lower than in July 2019.

For more information, see our A&E waiting times indicator.

Ambulance response times

  • In July 2020, the average response time for Category 1 (life-threatening) calls was 6 minutes 47 seconds. There were 18% fewer Category 1 incidents in July 2020 compared to July 2019.
  • The average response time for Category 2 (emergency) calls was 16 minutes 39 seconds in July 2020. This came alongside a 9% fall in Category 2 incidents compared to July 2019.

For more information, see our ambulance response times indicator.

Treatment and diagnostic test waiting times

  • The total number of people waiting to start consultant-led elective treatment increased slightly to over 3.9 million in June 2020 (reported waiting list plus the estimate of missing data). This follows a previous fall from 4.4 million in February 2020.
  • The number of people waiting over 52 weeks to start consultant-led elective treatment increased to 50,536 in June 2020, the highest level since February 2009.
  • The proportion of people waiting over 18 weeks to start elective treatment reached 48% in June 2020. This is the worst performance since records began and the 18-week target has not been met for over four years.
  • In June 2020, 48% of patients had been waiting over six weeks for a diagnostic test. The diagnostic waiting time target has not been met for over six and a half years.

For more information, see our treatment waiting times and diagnostic test waiting times indicators.

Cancer waiting times

  • In June 2020, one in four patients (25%) waited longer than two months to start their first treatment for cancer following an urgent GP referral. The 62-day cancer target has not been met for four and a half years.
  • In June 2020, 9,891 people started a first treatment for cancer following an urgent GP referral – 26% lower than in June 2019.
  • The percentage of patients who waited longer than two months to start their first treatment for cancer following a referral from a national screening service increased dramatically to 87% in June 2020. The waiting time target has not been met for over two years.
  • In June 2020, 373 people started a first treatment for cancer following a referral from a national screening service – 78% lower than in June 2019.

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