Minor units take a growing share of emergency department attendances

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 03 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7233
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1BMJ, London, UK

Attendances at emergency departments in England are rising faster than population growth, new figures have shown.

Statistics for 2012-13 from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show an 11% growth in emergency department attendances since four years ago (2008-09), compared with a population growth of 3.2% during the same period.

There were 21.7 million emergency department attendances in 2012-13, compared with an estimated 340 million consultations in general practice.

But although the HSCIC identified “striking consistencies” in patterns of emergency department activity over time, the latest figures show a higher proportion of cases being dealt with by minor units than was the case four years ago. Minor units dealt with almost 32% of attendees in 2012-13, up from 28% in …

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