The time it takes hospitals to deal with A&E patients varies significantly from trust to trust, according to the NHS Information Centre.
It is particularly the case in the 10 minutes leading up to the Government’s four-hour deadline for patients to be either admitted or discharged after treatment.
The centre reports that on average, three-quarters of patients are seen and dealt with within three hours, and almost all within four hours.
But it notes that an average 6% are seen in the last 10 minutes, with local variations from zero to 15%, and that two thirds are admitted in that period compared to 21% overall.
The report - Accident and Emergency, Patient Journey, Further Analysis - is the centre’s most detailed analysis to date of the way hospitals process patients through A&E.
Says chief executive Tim Straughan: “This report gives a valuable, minute by minute insight into patients’ experience of A&E services, and highlights a marked variation in both the speed of care and the destination of patients when they leave A&E.
“With data at individual trust level, A&E departments may want to compare how their approach varies with others as there are marked differences from place to place.”