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Accident and Emergency Departments: Mental Illness

Department of Health written question – answered on 23rd November 2016.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Labour/Co-operative, Liverpool, Wavertree

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what proportion of attendances at accident and emergency departments resulted in primary diagnosis of a mental health condition in each of the last six years.

Photo of Nicola Blackwood Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Information on the proportion of accident and emergency (A&E) attendances resulting in a primary diagnosis of psychiatric condition in each of the last six years is available from NHS Digital’s (formerly the Health and Social Care Information Centre) Hospital Episode Statistics (HES). The information is shown in the table below, and covers the period 2010-11 to 2015-16.

A HES diagnosis code relating to psychiatric conditions has been used as this is the mental health code available in the A&E HES data set. The data provided shows counts of A&E attendances not counts of patients as the same patient may have attended more than once during the time period.

Data from 2010-11 to 2014-15 is final published data. Data for 2015-16 are provisional and subject to change. Final data will be published in January 2017.

Counts of all A&E attendances (excluding planned attendances) and A&E attendances (excluding planned attendances) where there was a primary diagnosis of a psychiatric condition for 2010-11 to 2015-16

A&E attendances (excluding planned attendances)1

Year

All

With a primary diagnosis of a psychiatric condition2

Proportion of all attendances (excluding planned attendances) with a primary diagnosis of a psychiatric condition

2010-11

15,818,846

93,176

0.59%

2011-12

17,286,648

112,173

0.65%

2012-13

18,005,435

124,012

0.69%

2013-14

18,197,530

142,265

0.78%

2014-15

19,254,853

145,926

0.76%

2015-163

20,211,9203

166,0403

0.82%3

Source: HES, NHS Digital

Notes:

1 A&E attendances (excluding planned attendances). Planned attendances have been excluded from these figures.

2 A&E diagnosis – psychiatric condition. The recording of the diagnosis field within the A&E data set is not mandatory. It is not known to what extent changes over time are as a result of improvements in recording practice. The diagnosis code used was 35 = Psychiatric conditions.

3 Provisional data – these data are provisional and may be incomplete or contain errors for which no adjustments have been made. Final data will be available from January 2017.

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