The fuller story of A&E performance in the UK 2010-2018: Stunning Graphs of Scotland’s success

I don’t recognise the source of these graphs but they are based on data from official NHS statistics (sources below) and can thus be checked. I’ve checked the more recent figures. In the light of the recent attempts of the Scottish media to construct a ‘meltdown’ here, the images are very useful.


Note that these are the figures for only Type 1 English A&E departments. Only these have consultants within them and only these are comparable with A&E departments elsewhere in the UK. According to the BBC [and me[: ‘The Scottish figures are compiled separately to the NHS figures in England but are “broadly comparable” to type 1 emergencies south of the border. The NHS England also publishes a figure which includes walk-in clinics, minor injury units and specialist emergency units.’However, even when we allow the inclusion of all types of English ‘A&E departments’, we see this:



Here’s where I got them. Thanks to Alan Sharpe for drawing my attention to them.

Here are the sources for some of the data used in the graphs if you’d like to check them. for NHS England:

You’ll get the Scottish data here but it’s published weekly so you’d have to add up monthly figures to compare with the graphs.




6 thoughts on “The fuller story of A&E performance in the UK 2010-2018: Stunning Graphs of Scotland’s success

  1. Alasdair Macdonald. January 11, 2018 / 11:53 pm

    I wonder what happened in England in 2015/16, when it began to diverge so clearly from the performance in Scotland, which it generally matched. Or, was there action in Scotland which countered the effects of austerity in England.

    I wonder why the data for Wales and Northern Ireland are so substantially poorer than those for Scotland and England, although in the past year, the data for England has been surpassed by the figure for Wales. Although lower than the Scottish and English data, the Welsh and Irish data do not show the clear dip from 2015/6 that began in England.

    So often the media seize a single datum at a point in time and make absurd generalisations from it, whereas even secondary school students studying statistics know that the trend data are more indicative.

    Thanks for providing this informative data. It certainly puts the lies of the media, particularly the shameful and as yet uncorrected statement of Sarah Smith into perspective.

    Today, The Evening Times published a letter purporting to report a harrowing 15 hour experience in which the scene at the Royal Infirmary A&E was compared to Syria and Iraq! This is the same A&E which I also attended on the same evening, which was a scene of calm, orderliness and professionalism, during the three hours from my reporting until my discharge.

    As a corrective, the National had a letter from someone who had suffered a heart attack and who attributes his survival to the rapid response of a SINGLE paramedic, who treated him until joined by two colleagues, and who were then able to transfer him to an ambulance and to hospital, where treatment began on arrival.

    It might be ‘confirmation bias’ but I give the second greater credence.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Alasdair Macdonald January 12, 2018 / 10:40 am

        In the GMS series of interviews with the Scottish Parliament leaders it was the turn of THE COLONEL today. The first impression I had was that she was speaking more slowly and more quietly and in a ‘measured’ way. It suggested that she has been being ‘coached’.

        She was asked about the NHS, and, in keeping with the measured (‘stateswomanlike’?) delivery, there were no accusations of failure. It might be significant that Gary Robertson introduced the theme by making the comparison with NHS England and its management by the Tories. By setting the context in this way, it forced her to adopt a defensive ‘posture’ and meant that she could not trot out the ‘man-with-the-broken-foot’ accusation, because worse could be identified quickly in England.

        Mr Robertson also raised the issue of the racist/sectarian tweets/comments last year by two Stirling Councillors. This was preceded by replaying a recording of a statement she had made at the time regarding apologies and ‘awareness training’. Before she responded she was further asked if it was true that one of the two had refused to apologise to the Council. She waffled a bit and was somewhat vague about who actually provided the awareness training. She mentioned a Council official – which is reasonable, since most Councils now have such officers and ‘another’ organisation’ whose name she was unable to recall.

        There was also, I think, one interruption.

        A definite change in presentational style by THE COLONEL and, a more challenging approach by GMS, though nowhere near as aggressive as we hear with SNP or Green politicians, or, indeed, Labour politicians who are outwith or on the fringes of ‘the coterie’.

        Liked by 1 person

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