Hot Weather, Strikes – Can A&E Cope?

NHS staff managed a record number of A&E attendances for any June and more than half a million emergency admissions, new figures show today, July 11th 2024.

Hospitals reported that they dealt with more than 2.29 million attendances to their A&E departments and over half a million emergency admissions (536,884) – more than any other June.

Last month saw several yellow heat health warnings alongside four days of industrial action by junior doctors, which created additional pressure for frontline teams.

A&E attendances were up 3.1% on the previous year and emergency admissions were up 7.2% on the preceding 12-month period.

In June, 74.6% of patients completed A&E treatment within four hours against a target of 95%. Provisional figures show that 9.8% of attendees spent 12 hours or more in A&E last month, slightly down on May (10%) but higher than the same month last year (7.7%).

However, the number of patients waiting more than four-hours in A&E from decision to admit to admission was at 128,114 – the lowest since September 2023 (124,956) while overall performance against the 95% target was 74.6%.

Ambulance services responded to 729,345 incidents and answered 800,288 calls to 999, more calls per day than the month before and in June 2023. However, response times for Category 1, 2 and 3 callouts were all slower than the month before.

The latest performance statistics also show that the waiting list rose in May by 31,249, with the overall backlog at 7.6 million and an estimated 6.38 million people waiting for treatment.

The number of patients waiting more than the 18-week constitutional standard fell by 51,583 between April and May, but the proportion within 18 weeks (59.1%) was lower than the same month last year (59.5%), against a constitutional standard of 92%. There were 3.11 million referrals waiting for longer than the constitutional standard in May.


Staff worked hard to deliver a record number of diagnostic tests and checks in May, with 2.42 million patients checked – up more than a fifth on before the pandemic (2 million in May 2019).

The NHS has met the 28-day cancer faster diagnosis target with more than three quarters of people receiving a definitive diagnosis or all clear within four weeks in May, and more than 209,000 people seen within the ambition.

Hardworking NHS staff delivered over 55,000 cancer treatments in May – with more than nine in ten happening within one month (91%) and more people were seen after a GP referral than any other month on record (270,583.)

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “Frontline teams are continuing to work exceptionally hard under significant pressure to provide the best care they can for patients, but everyone recognises that access and waiting times are currently far from what the public have a right to expect.

”Despite the challenges, it is vital that people come forward when they have health concerns – a huge amount of work is going on to diagnose more cancers at an earlier stage, so if you do have worrying symptoms, it’s important to see your GP as soon as possible.

“Everyone working in the health service is committed to working with the government, and with patients and the public, to tackle these challenges, to improve performance and quality in core services, and in the longer term to build an NHS fit for the future.”

The monthly performance statistics are available on the NHS England website.

See also: Why Goats’ Milk is Good For Your Skin

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