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Date: 23 February 2024

Time: 04:30

A&E clinical quality indicator glossary of terms

Admitted patients

Patients who are admitted to hospital following their visit to A&E.

Emergency Department

The Accident & Emergency Department in the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is called the Emergency Department.

Initial assessment

The initial assessment is when a patient is assessed by an emergency care medical or nursing professional to allow them to determine a priority for treatment (sometimes called triage). The assessment would normally include a brief history of the patient’s condition, pain score and vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, pulse, etc).

Left without being seen

A patient who leaves without being seen is one who registered with the receptionist in the A&E department but then left the department before they saw a clinical decision-maker.


The median time is the time that separates the upper half of all the times from the lower half. If all the times were put in order from shortest to longest the median would be the middle value.

National performance

This is the overall performance across all A&E Departments in England for the latest month available.

Non-admitted patients

Patients who are discharged from the A&E Department without requiring admission to hospital. This includes patients who may be transferred to another healthcare provider.

Performance thresholds

A&E departments are expected to show continuous improvement against the new clinical quality indicators over time. The Department of Health has set minimum performance thresholds which trusts must aim to meet and exceed where possible.

Treatment time

The treatment time is the time when a patient is seen by a clinical decision-maker who can diagnose the problem, decide the management plan for the patient and arrange or start treatment if required.

Unplanned re-attendance

An unplanned re-attendance is where a patient returns to an A&E Department within 7 days of a previous A&E attendance. This may be for the same condition or a different one.

95th percentile

The 95th percentile time is the time below which the majority (95%) of times may be found. If all the times were put in order from shortest to longest, the 95th percentile would be 95% of the way down the list.

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