Long A&E wait times led to almost 14,000 deaths last year in England: RCEM

In 2023, almost 14,000 people in England are estimated to have died due to excessive waits in emergency departments, averaging more than 260 deaths per week,
according to new figures from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM).

The RCEM estimate is based on a large study of NHS patients published in the Emergency Medicine Journal in 2021, which found one excess death for every 72 patients
who spent eight to 12 hours in an A&E department.

Following a Freedom of Information audit of NHS trusts, the college has found that 65 per cent of people waiting 12 hours or more in A&E were patients waiting for
a hospital bed.

NHS data for England revealed that over 1.5 million patients waited 12 hours or more in major emergency departments last year. Based on the RCEM calculation, this
indicates that over a million of those patients were waiting for a bed.