A Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation programme

NHS performance summary

The latest NHS performance data, updated monthly.

Headlines

  • Ambulance response times for emergency incidents (category 2) remain high: in May 2022, one in ten patients waited over 1 hour 25 minutes for an ambulance.
  • In May 2022, 27% of people attending A&E spent more than four hours from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge. The 4-hour target was last met in July 2015.
  • The elective care waiting list continues to rise: as of April 2022, almost 6.5 million patients were waiting for planned hospital treatment.
  • In April 2022, 65% of patients waited less than two months from an urgent GP referral to first treatment of cancer. The operational standard has been met once in the last 8 years.

The analysis below includes the latest data on key activity and performance measures up to April and May 2022, as published by NHS England on 16 June 2022. This includes data on the NHS's performance against some key targets, including some of those set out in the latest planning guidance, as well as other indicators of patient safety and care.

Emergency care

A&E waiting times

  • In May 2022, 27% of people attending A&E spent more than four hours from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge – this compares to 13% of patients in May 2019.
  • Trolley waits – the time between a decision to admit and a patient being admitted – are at very high levels. In May 2022, 122,768 people had a trolley wait of over 4 hours and 19,053 people waited over 12 hours.
  • There were over 2.1 million A&E attendances in May 2022 – this is 5% higher than in May 2021.
  • Emergency admissions via A&E were 9% lower in May 2022 (376,171) than before the pandemic in May 2019 (412,841).

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

% spending >4 hours in A&E

Total A&E attendances

Trolley waits >12 hours

Emergency admissions via A&E

Emergency admissions via A&E

Ambulance response times

  • In May 2022, the average ambulance response time for Category 1 (life-threatening) incidents decreased on the previous month to 8 minutes 36 seconds – the mean target of 7 minutes has not been met since April 2021.
  • The average ambulance response time for Category 2 (emergency) incidents decreased to 39 minutes 58 seconds in May 2022, more than double the 18 minute target. The 90th centile response time was 1 hour 25 minutes 52 seconds, more than double the 40 minute target.

For more information, see our ambulance response times indicator.

Ambulance response times cat 1

Ambulance response times cat 2

Planned hospital care

Consultant-led treatment and diagnostic test waiting times

  • The waiting list for people waiting to start consultant-led elective treatment increased to 6.48 million in April 2022, the highest level since records began.
  • The waiting list for people waiting over 52 weeks to start elective treatment increased to 323,093 in April 2022. This is much higher than pre-pandemic levels – for example, in April 2019, 1,047 people on the waiting list had been waiting over 52 weeks.
  • In April 2022, 12,735 patients had been waiting over two years for planned hospital care, a 24% decrease from the previous month. The number of patients waiting over 18 months (78 weeks) increased slightly from the previous month to 63,639.
  • 28% of patients waited over 6 weeks for a diagnostic test in April 2022; this remains above the levels before the pandemic. In April 2019, 4% of patients waited over 6 weeks.

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

Elective waiting list

Elective waiting list

Cancer waiting times

  • In April 2022, 35% of patients who had their first treatment for cancer following an urgent GP referral waited longer than two months. The operational standard was last met in December 2015.
  • 4,495 patients waited longer than two months from an urgent GP referral to first treatment of cancer in April 2022, 36% higher than the target to return the number of people waiting longer than 62 days to the level in February 2020 (3,316).

For more information, see our cancer waiting time targets indicator.

Elective waiting list

Elective waiting list

About this data

During this unprecedented time for the health service, QualityWatch continues to provide independent scrutiny of the health and social care system. The most recent data published today reflects changes in access and service compared to pre-pandemic healthcare delivery. It is also worth noting that NHS England have suspended data collection 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 and NHS England consulted on the recommendations for urgent and emergency care.

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.