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Hospital outpatients: Appointments top 100 million for first time in 2013-14

26 February, 2015: HSCIC releases new detailed data on outpatient and A&E activity

26 February, 2015

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

*Regional data is available within this report

More than 100 million outpatient appointments were scheduled by hospitals in England in 2013-14, of which more than 80 million appointments - 224,8002 a day on average - were attended.6

This represents an 8.2 per cent increase in the number of outpatient appointments made in the previous year (94.1 million), and is the first time appointments have topped 100 million, according to figures published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The findings are from reports on Outpatient and Accident and Emergency hospital activity in 2013-14, which provide a new level of demographic detail about these hospital services.4

Findings for 2013-14 include:

Outpatients5

  • There were 101.8 million outpatient appointments, of which 82.1 million (80.6 per cent) were attended.
  • While the total number of appointments has increased year on year, the percentage which are attended (80.6 per cent) has remained relatively stable since 2009-10, increasing by 0.5 percentage points.
  • Overall, patients aged 65 to 69 had the highest number of attendances (7.0 million), although for females the highest number of attendances were recorded for those aged 30-34 (3.9 million).
  • London Area Team (AT) had the greatest number of appointments at 20.0 million, compared with the Durham, Darlington and Tees AT, which had the lowest number at 1.8 million.

Accident and Emergency (A&E)

  • There were 18.5 million A&E attendances recorded at major A&E departments, single speciality A&E departments, walk-in centres and minor injury units. This represents an increase of one per cent7 from 2012-13 (18.3 million).
  • The average number of attendances per day was 50,700, up from 50,200 per day in 2012-13. Individually, March and July had the highest number of attendances, at 53,500 per day.
  • Over half, 54.6 per cent (10.1 million) of attendances were for patients under 40. Patients aged 20-29 accounted for 16.2 per cent (3.0 million), while 14.5 per cent (2.7 million) of attendances were for those under 10. Attendances were equally split between men and women.
  • While the national average rate of attendances3 at major (Type 1)8 A&E units is 260 per 1,000 residents, there is wide regional variation. Residents of the Greater Manchester Area Team (AT) had the highest rate of attendance at 330 per 1,000 residents (918,200 attendances); while Bath, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire AT had the lowest at 190 per 1,000 residents (288,000 attendances).

The full reports are at:

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/hoa1314

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/aande1314

ENDS


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). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and 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. Figures over 1 million have been rounded to the nearest 100,000, and figures over 10,000 have been rounded to the nearest 100. Percentages have been rounded to one decimal place; percentage calculations are based on un-rounded figures.
  3. Rates per 1,000 of the resident population have been rounded to the nearest 10.
  4. Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) is a data warehouse containing details of all admissions to NHS hospitals in England. It includes private patients treated in NHS hospitals, patients who were resident outside of England and care delivered by treatment centres (including those in the independent sector) funded by the NHS.
  5. Records in the HES Outpatient database are called 'appointments', and each outpatient appointment relates to a period of care for a patient under a single consultant.
  6. Appointments that were not attended are made up of patient cancellations, hospital cancellations, non attendances by patients (without previous cancellation) and unknowns.
  7. Within the HES A&E data set, data are incomplete; there are 18.2 million attendances reported in HES A&E (excluding planned follow-up attendances), compared to 21.8 million reported in NHS England's Weekly A&E Situation Reports (Sit Reps) aggregate data for the equivalent period.
  8. Type 1 A&E department (Major A&E)
    A consultant led 24 hour service with full resuscitation facilities and designated accommodation for the reception of accident and emergency patients
    Type 2 A&E department (Single Specialty)
    A consultant led single specialty accident and emergency service (e.g. ophthalmology, dental) with designated accommodation for the reception of patients
    Type 3 A&E department (Other A&E / Minor Injury Unit)
    Other type of A&E/minor injury units (MIUs)/Walk-in Centres (WiCs), primarily designed for the receiving of accident and emergency patients. A type 3 department may be doctor led or nurse led. It may be co-located with a major A&E or sited in the community. A defining characteristic of a service qualifying as a type 3 department is that it treats at least minor injuries and illnesses (sprains for example) and can be routinely accessed without appointment. An appointment based service (for example an outpatient clinic) or one mainly or entirely accessed via telephone or other referral (for example most out of hours services), or a dedicated primary care service (such as GP practice or GP-led health centre) is not a type 3 A&E service even though it may treat a number of patients with minor illness or injury.
  9. For media enquires or interview requests please contact media.enquiries@hscic.gov.uk or telephone 0300 30 33 888. Please note the change to our media line number.
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