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Hospital outpatient attendances up by 3.9 per cent

Hospital outpatient attendances totalled 75.5 million during 2012/13, an increase of 3.9 per cent on the previous year, new figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show.

HSCIC must be credited as the source of the figures in this release
*Regional information available from this report

A total of 94 million appointments were made during the year (3.4 per cent up on 2011/12, 91million). Aside from the 75.5 million attendances, patients missed3 6.9 million or 7.3 per cent of appointments (an increase of 1.1 per cent or 75,200 on last year) and cancelled 5.8 million or 6.1 per cent (an increase of 3.5 per cent or 196,400). Meanwhile, hospitals cancelled 5.8 million or 6.1 per cent (an increase of 0.5 per cent or 26,100)4.

The figures are published today in Hospital Outpatient Activity 2012/13. The report also shows:

  • At their first attendance, 32.0 per cent of patients (7.3 million) were discharged, 33.2 per cent (7.5 million) had a follow-up appointment booked and 33.6 per cent (7.6 million) were marked down to be sent a follow-up appointment at a later date.
  • The treatment specialties with the highest number of attendances included Trauma and Orthopaedics (7.4 million or 9.8 per cent), Ophthalmology (6.6 million or 8.8 per cent) and Physiotherapy (3.7 million or 4.8 per cent).
  • Overall, patients aged 65 to 69 had the highest number of attendances (6.3 million or 8.5 per cent of all attendances), a rise of 9.4 per cent on last year.
  • For women, the highest number of attendances was recorded for those aged 30-34 (3.7 million or 8.4 per cent of all attendances for women) largely due to maternity-related appointments.

The full report can be viewed at:


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). The trusted source of authoritative data and information relating to health and care, HSCIC plays a fundamental role in driving better care, better services and better outcomes for patients. It supports the delivery of IT infrastructure, information systems and standards to ensure information flows efficiently and securely across the health and social care system to improve patient outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 220 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. Numbers over one million in the press release have been rounded to the nearest 100,000.

3. Missed appointments, where the patient did not inform the healthcare provider that they would not attend, are also known as DNAs - did not attend.

4. The outcome of a further 237,000 appointments (0.3 per cent of the total) is unknown.

5. HES figures are available from 1989/0 onwards. The quality and coverage of the data have improved over time. These improvements in information submitted by the NHS have been particularly marked in the earlier years and need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. Some of the increase in figures for later years (particularly 2006-07 onwards) may be due to the improvement in the coverage of independent sector activity. Changes in NHS practice also need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. For example, a number of procedures may now be undertaken in outpatient settings and may no longer be accounted for in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time.

6. For media enquiries or interview requests please contact the press office on 0845 257 6990 or

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