Intended for healthcare professionals


NHS England proposes new indicators to replace four hour target in emergency departments

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 16 December 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4855
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. London

New indicators could replace the existing four hour emergency department target in England, including patients being seen and assessed within 15 minutes in a hospital, under an official consultation launched on 15 December.

NHS England’s consultation on transforming urgent and emergency care1 proposes that the current four hour target—which says that 95% of people arriving at emergency departments should be treated and then be discharged, admitted, or transferred within four hours—should be replaced with 10 indicators or a “bundle of standards.”

Other indicators, which the consultation describes as a “more sophisticated and patient centred set of metrics,” include:

  • The handover of a patient between ambulance staff and an emergency …

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