• A&E performance for December fell to 85 per cent equalling worst month recorded
  • Blackpool recorded Type 1 performance of just 40 per cent
  • Just three out of 137 acute trusts hit 95 per cent target for December

Accident and emergency performance against the four hour target in December fell to 85 per cent, equalling the worst month on record – with one trust only achieving 40 per cent at its major “type one” site.

The overall performance of 85 per cent was down one percentage point from last December and equals performance in January 2017 – the worst since month data collections began in 2004. Performance for major type one A&Es for the month also fell down from 79 per cent in December 2016 to 73 per cent.

The pressure on the service was starkly illustrated by a record number of emergency admissions. There were 520,163 admissions in the month –and 4.5 per cent up in December last year.

The figures were published this morning, as HSJ exclusively revealed that senior doctors in charge of more than 60 hospital emergency departments have written to the prime minister warning of “very serious concerns” about patient safety amid the winter crisis, including cases of patients dying prematurely in corridors.

The 12 hour waiting time data provided one positive note. It suggested a drive to cut trolley waits was making a material difference: there were 497 12 hour waiters in December 2017 – down from 553 the previous December.

HSJ analysis shows:

  • Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust saw its type one A&E performance deteriorate for the month to 40 per cent.
  • Just three out of the 137 acute providers hit the 95 per cent A&E target in December: Luton And Dunstable University Hospital, Dorset County Hospital; and Yeovil District Hospital FTs – and just two met the type one target (Luton and Yeovil).
  • Thirty two trusts recorded type one performance of 70 per cent or below in December 2017 (see first table) compared to 24 trusts in 2016.
  • Seven trusts recorded overall four hour performance of 70 per cent or below in December 2017 compared to three in the same month in 2016.
  • Just 18 trusts recorded performance over 90 per cent (see second table) down from 31 the previous December.

Thirty two trusts recorded type one performance of 70 per cent or below in December 2017

TrustFour hour, type one (versus 95% target)Four hour, all (versus 95% target)12 hour waits (total)
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust 40% 79% 75
The Hillingdon Hospitals Foundation Trust 58% 81% 0
Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust 58% 83% 0
London North West Healthcare Trust 59% 82% 0
University Hospitals Of North Midlands Trust 59% 72% 0
East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust 61% 74% 2
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust 62% 81% 1
Portsmouth Hospitals Trust 63% 70% 52
Shrewsbury And Telford Hospital Trust 63% 69% 9
Norfolk And Norwich University Hospitals  Foundation Trust 63% 69% 0
Imperial College Healthcare Trust 64% 84% 5
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust 64% 75% 4
The Dudley Group Foundation Trust 65% 79% 3
Walsall Healthcare Trust 65% 77% 0
Nottingham University Hospitals Trust 66% 74% 0
United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust 67% 69% 0
North West Anglia Foundation Trust 67% 68% 0
Mid Cheshire Hospitals Foundation Trust 67% 74% 0
East And North Hertfordshire Trust 67% 77% 0
The Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust 67% 67% 0
Great Western Hospitals Foundation Trust 68% 81% 6
West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust 68% 77% 0
Medway Foundation Trust 69% 83% 0
University Hospitals Of Leicester Trust 69% 72% 3
Southport And Ormskirk Hospital Trust 69% 80% 65
Stockport Foundation Trust 69% 71% 8
Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust 70% 82% 0
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust 70% 85% 0
Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust 70% 79% 0
North Bristol Trust 70% 70% 122
Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust 70% 78% 12
Plymouth Hospitals Trust 70% 79% 1

Eighteen trusts recorded overall performance over 90 per cent in December 2017 

TrustFour hour, type one (versus 95% target)Four hour, all (versus 95% target)12 hour waits (total)
Luton And Dunstable University Hospital Foundation Trust 97% 98% 0
Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust 93% 96% 0
Yeovil District Hospital Foundation Trust 96% 96% 0
Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust 94% 94% 0
North Tees And Hartlepool Foundation Trust 80% 94% 0
Chelsea And Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust 91% 94% 0
South Tees Hospitals Foundation Trust 92% 93% 0
The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust 88% 93% 0
Chesterfield Royal Hospital Foundation Trust 93% 93% 0
Harrogate And District Foundation Trust 90% 92% 0
Surrey And Sussex Healthcare Trust 92% 92% 0
Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust 84% 91% 0
Royal Surrey County Hospital Foundation Trust 91% 91% 0
Airedale Foundation Trust 91% 91% 0
Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust 91% 91% 0
Gateshead Health Foundation Trust 88% 91% 0
Epsom And St Helier University Hospitals Trust 89% 90% 0
University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust 90% 90% 0

NHS England said: “Despite the clear pressure on the NHS in December, with rising levels of flu and record numbers of 111 calls and hospital admissions, we managed to hold A&E performance at the same level as last January. We also saw the best seasonal performance on NHS Delayed Transfers of Care in four years, and went into winter with cancer and routine surgery waits both showing improvements.”

  • This story will be updated with further analysis later today

Analysed: National A&E performance equals worst ever month