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Hospital inpatient care: over 10,000 more admissions a day than 10 years ago

25 November 2015: HSCIC releases new detailed data on admissions and maternity

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

*Regional data are available within the reports

Latest figures show that there were 15.9 million3 admissions4 to NHS hospitals in England in 2014-15 - the equivalent of 43,500 per day. This is 1,200 more per day on average than in 2013-145 and 10,400 more per day on average than 10 years ago in 2004-055.

Today's report Hospital Episode Statistics, Admitted Patient Care, England - 2014-15, from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), includes national and regional statistics6 on admissions relating to time waited, diagnosis and procedure, consultant main speciality and external cause codes7.

The latest analysis shows an increase of 2.8 per cent (430,400) in hospital admissions from 2013-14 (15.5 million) and an increase of 31.3 per cent (3.8 million) in hospital admissions from 2004-05 (12.1 million).

Over the same time period the population has grown, although at a lower rate than hospital admissions. The rate of admissions in 2014-15 was 29,260 per 100,000 population, compared to 24,110 admissions per 100,000 population in 2004-05. This may be partly attributable to the increased proportion of older people in the population8.

Today's report also shows that in 2014-15:

Admitted Patient Care:

  • The greatest number of admissions by age band9 was for patients aged 65 to 69 (1.3 million).
  • The greatest increase in the number of admissions was for patients aged 70 to 74, up 5.9 per cent (68,100) since 2013-14 to 1.2 million in 2014-15.
  • The average length of stay has decreased to 5.0 days from 5.1 in 2013-14, and has been steadily decreasing since 2004/05 (7.1 days)10.
  • Female patients accounted for 56.0 per cent of admissions (8.9 million).
  • Regionally, Durham, Darlington and Tees Area Team (AT)11 had the highest rate of admissions at 350 per 1,000 residents (409,600 admissions). Thames Valley AT had the lowest rate of admissions per population at 250 per 1,000 residents (509,300 admissions).

A separate report, NHS Maternity Statistics - England, 2014-15, is also published today. It shows that in 2014-15:


  • The number of deliveries12 in NHS hospitals (636,600) was the lowest recorded in Hospital Episode Statistics since 2006-0713. This figure has decreased by 1.6 per cent (10,300 deliveries) since 2013-14 (646,900).
  • Mothers aged 30 to 39 accounted for the highest percentage of deliveries at 47.4 per cent (296,800). This was the only age group in which there was an increase in deliveries from 2013-14, of 0.7 per cent (2,060).
  • The largest decrease in deliveries from 2013-14 was among mothers aged under 20 - down 11.5 per cent (3,030) to 23,400. Deliveries to mothers aged 20 to 29 reduced by 3.3 per cent (9,710) to 281,300 over the same period.
  • 379,100 (60.4 per cent) deliveries in NHS hospitals were spontaneous14. West Yorkshire AT had the highest proportion of spontaneous deliveries, 66.7 per cent (19,200), while London AT had the lowest, 56.5 per cent (65,800).
  • The percentage of caesarean deliveries continued to increase slightly to 26.5 per cent (166,300), a 0.3 percentage point increase from 2013-14 (26.2 per cent, 166,100).
  • The highest proportions of deliveries by caesarean were for residents of Essex and London ATs at 28.8 per cent (5,590) and 28.7 per cent (33,500) respectively. London AT also had the highest rate of all deliveries to mothers in their 40s at 10 per 1,000 female residents aged between 40 and 49.
  • The lowest proportion of deliveries by caesarean was for residents of West Yorkshire AT at 22.1 per cent (6,380).

Responsible Statistician Jane Winter said: "Today's report on admitted patient care shows hospitals have seen an increase in admissions per day compared to 10 years ago. This is not solely explained by the increase in the population of England, although the ageing population may have a greater impact on hospital admissions. At the same time these figures show the average length of stay in hospital has decreased steadily.

"I hope these statistics will be useful for health organisations and professionals in their planning to provide services for patients."

You can view the full reports at:

New experimental statistics on the maternity pathway are also published today for the first time. The Maternity Services Monthly Statistics reports will provide information about services provided and health of mothers and their babies, following women through from their first booking appointment to postnatal care.  The initial report covers April 2015. As the dataset develops, it is anticipated that it will be used to achieve good practice and service improvements to help reduce health care inequalities. The 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). 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 260 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. Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts in England and from approximately 200 independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The HSCIC liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies. Figures refer to recorded admissions and are reliant upon the accurate and complete recording of cause of hospital admission. Submissions from the independent sector in particular have improved significantly in recent years.
  3. Figures above 1 million have been rounded to the nearest 100,000.

Figures above 10,000 have been rounded to the nearest 100.

Figures under 10,000 have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Rates per population have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Percentages are based on exact figure and rounded to one decimal place.

Exact figures are within the report.

  1. 'Admissions' - the total number of finished admission episodes including emergency admissions. Please note that these data should not be described as a count of people as the same person may have been admitted or treated on more than one occasion.
  2. These are mean averages. In 2013-14 there were 15.5 million hospital admissions, the equivalent of 42,400 per day. In 2004-05 there were 12.1 million hospital admissions, the equivalent of 33,200 per day.
    The same rounding applies to these figures as per footnote three above.
  3. Regional data included within this report are at Area Team and provider level.

7. Time waited: the period between the date of the decision to admit and the date of actual admission. Days of deferment and suspension are not included. The time waited statistics produced from HES are not comparable with the official waiting time figures produced by NHS England. The latter provide an indication of the numbers waiting to be admitted on a particular date, and how long they have been waiting up to that date.

Diagnosis: each hospital episode statistics record captures up to 20 diagnosis values, recording the primary reason the patient is being treated, any relevant secondary diagnoses, and external causes of admission to hospital should they exist.

Procedure: each HES record can have up to 24 procedures or interventions recorded. The primary procedure is the most resource intensive procedure performed during the hospital episode, while the secondary procedures are available to capture further information about the primary procedure and any less resource intensive procedures performed.

Consultant main speciality: main specialty reflects the specialty of the consultant or health professional with prime responsibility for the patient. The main specialties, recognised by the Royal Colleges and Faculties, reflect broad ranges of skills and expertise, and provide a summary of areas of treatment. The specialty codes consist of three numbers, and are followed by a description.

External cause codes: external cause codes are recorded in the 19 secondary diagnosis fields which make it possible to record additional information in the episode. The codes reflect the cause of a patient's attendance in hospital and are recorded using the V01 to Y98 ICD-10 codes.

8. Population data are mid-year estimates from the Office of National Statistics:

Rate per 100,000 has been calculated using the total population within the same category, e.g. all persons aged 0-16 in London Area Team.
The estimated resident population of an area includes all people who usually live there, whatever their nationality. People arriving into an area from outside the UK are only included in the population estimates if their total stay in the UK is 12 months or more. Visitors and short term migrants (those who enter the UK for 3 to 12 months for certain purposes) are not included. Similarly, people who leave the UK are only excluded from the population estimates if they remain outside the UK for 12 months or more. This is consistent with the United Nations recommended definition of an international long-term migrant.
Members of UK and non-UK armed forces stationed in the UK are included in the population and UK forces stationed outside the UK are excluded. Students are taken to be resident at their term time address.

9. Looking at five-year age bands.

  1. Average length of stay refers to mean average. Median average length of stay was two days in 2004-5 and one day in 2014-15.
  2. Area Team of residence contains episodes grouped according to the area team (AT) containing the patient's normal home address. This reflects where the patients lived but does not necessarily reflect where they were treated, as they may have travelled to another AT for treatment.
  3. A delivery episode is the hospital episode where a mother gives birth to a baby. The baby will also have a hospital episode, known as a birth episode. This report is based on hospital deliveries. Deliveries are a subset of finished consultant episodes (FCE); a period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider.
  4. The number of deliveries in 2006-07 was 629,200.
  5. Different types of deliveries are:






Note that percentage calculations exclude unknowns. The report also looks at method of onset of delivery. More details on the definitions used in the Hospital Episodes Statistics Maternity dataset are here:

  1. For media enquiries please contact or 0300 30 33 888.
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