The UK Department of Health has ordered Croydon University Hospital to improve the way it logs information about emergency patients to resolve a data entry issue that has generated ”wildly inaccurate” performance figures.

National emergency department figures from April 2011, released by the government recently, incorrectly showed that most of the hospital’s emergency patients waited 24 hours for assessment.

Croydon Health Services Trust spokesperson said that the error, shared by several UK hospital trusts, occurred at Croydon’s main hospital because patients are logged in after assessment, confusing the computer database.

According to internal audits, patients wait an of average ten minutes for assessment, the spokesperson added.

Other figures relating to Croydon University Hospital suggested 5.4% (598) of patients left the emergency department without being treated, compared to a 3.4% national average, while 9.9% (1,100) of patients were re-admitted within seven days.