A&E Waiting Time Statistics

Monthly statistics are published quarterly by the Department of Health.

The latest statistics published cover up to the end of March 2017. See the latest publication for more information, including various Indicators of Performance (IoP) that are used to measure Emergency Department performance.


Attendances are individual visits to an Emergency Department. Both new and unplanned attendances are included in these figures.

Waiting Times

The time that patients spent waiting are broken down by: 4 hours and under, 5 to 12 hours, and 12 hours and over. They are given here by type of emergency department.

By Emergency Department Type

UK NHS Comparison

Data from other UK NHS 24-hour A&E Services (see data notes). Please note the divergent publication schedules of the various statistics agencies.


‘From April 2016, 95% of patients attending any 1, 2 or 3 emergency care department are either treated and discharged home, or admitted, within four hours of their arrival in the department; and no patient attending any emergency care department should wait longer than twelve hours'

Performance is measured in two ways:

  • 4-hour performance: Percent of attendances treated and discharged, or admitted, within four hours. Target: 95%
  • 12-hour performance: Number of patients waiting longer than 12 hours to be treated and discharged, or admitted. Target: Zero

The table below shows performance of individual hospitals against the targets for emergency departments. The data covers April 2016 to end December 2016.

Hospital Type Trust Percent under 4 hours Number over 12 hours
Altnagelvin Area 1 Western
Antrim Area 1 Northern
Ards MIU 3 South Eastern
Bangor MIU 3 South Eastern
Causeway 1 Northern
Craigavon Area 1 Southern
Daisy Hill 1 Southern
Downe 2 South Eastern
Lagan Valley 2 South Eastern
Mater 1 Belfast
Mid-Ulster 2 Northern
Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children 1 Belfast
Royal Victoria 1 Belfast
Royal Victoria (ENT & RAES) 2 Belfast
South Tyrone 3 Southern
South West Acute 1 Western
Tyrone County 2 Western
Ulster 1 South Eastern
All Type 1 1 -
All Type 2 2 -
All Type 3 3 -
Royal Victoria ENT & RAES is the Ear, Nose and Throat and Regional Acute Eye Services, which are grouped together separately from the general RVH emergency care services.

Notes and Definitions

For more detailed and additional information please see DoH Emergency Care Waiting Times Documentation .


The 4-hour and 12-hour performance information detailed in the statisticals release represent the total time spent in an ED from arrival until admission, transfer or discharge. All new attendances and all unplanned review attendances at ED’s with a departure time are included. The figures in the release relate to all patients, including paediatric patients. The figures do not include planned review attendances.


An assessment of both the number of new and unplanned review attendances, and the length of time patients have waited, when compared with equivalent data for previous months, allow data users to gauge the demand for emergency care services. Users should take into consideration changes in the provision of emergency care services at specific sites in Northern Ireland when making comparisons with previous months.

Waiting Time

Time is measured from when a patient arrives at the ED (time of arrival is recorded at registration or triage whichever is earlier) until the patient departs from the ED (time of departure is defined as when the patient's clinical care episode is completed within the ED).

Data Providers

Data on waiting times against the national 4-hour standard can be compared across the UK NHS regions. For this, we compare only 24-hour A&E services. In England and Northern Ireland these are called ‘Type 1’. In Wales they are known as ‘Major A&E’. Scotland has a category called ‘Emergency Department’, defined as: ‘larger A&E services that typically provide a 24-hour consultant-led service’

Northern Ireland

Data are sourced by Department of Health directly from hospitals, via the Regional Data Warehouse (Royal Victoria ENT & RAES uses a separate emergency care information return (EC1)).


NHS England, Weekly and Monthly Times Series.


NHS National Services Scotland Information Services Division (ISD), Emergency Department Activity and Waiting Times.


NHS Wales Informatics Services (NWIS), Emergency Department Data Set (EDDS).