May was busiest month on record for A&E, data shows
Accident and emergency waiting room.

NHS staff continue to face significant demand for urgent care, with new figures showing that A&Es in England saw their busiest ever month for attendances in May.

New monthly performance data also shows that it was a record April for the number of elective appointments delivered for hundreds of thousands of patients.

The latest statistics show that more than 2.4 million people attended A&Es across the country in May.

Across all types of A&E in May, there were almost 5 per cent more attendances per day compared with April.

Type 1 A&Es saw an average of 1,700 more patients per day compared with the month before. This is a consultant led 24-hour service with full resuscitation facilities and designated accommodation for the reception of A&E patients.

It was the second busiest month on record for emergency admissions, with 564,693 admitted in May – second only to March 2024, which saw 567,456 emergency admissions.

Ambulance staff also contended with high demand, with the busiest May on record for Category 1 incidents, alongside a high number of Category 2 call-outs.

The data shows it was the busiest ever April for diagnostic activity, with over 2.3 million tests, checks and scans carried out – 21 per cent more than same month pre-pandemic.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS National Medical Director, said: “As these figures show, demand for NHS services across the country remains high.

“With junior doctors striking for five days starting from the end of June, the NHS is preparing for further disruption to services in coming weeks."