Press release

Statistical press notice: Monthly critical care beds, cancelled urgent operations and delayed transfers of care data, England, April 2012

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The main findings for April 2012 were: Critical Care Beds • There were 3,729 adult critical care beds available with 3,137 occupied, giving…

The main findings for April 2012 were:

Critical Care Beds

• There were 3,729 adult critical care beds available with 3,137 occupied, giving an occupancy rate of 84.1%. This is broadly similar to the occupancy rates observed in the past three months and is higher than April 2011, where the figure was 78.3%

• There were 407 paediatric critical care beds available and 309 occupied, giving an occupancy rate of 75.9%. This is higher than April 2011, where the figure was 69.7%, but lower than rates seen over winter, where Paediatric critical care occupancy rates are usually higher.

• There were 1,319 neo-natal critical care beds available and 971 occupied, giving an occupancy rate of 73.6%. This is lower than April 2011, where the figure was 76.4%. Neo-natal critical care occupancy rates have been fairly stable over the past year.

Table 1 shows Critical Care Bed Occupancy rates since August 2010.
Details of critical care data for individual organisations are available on the DH website.

Cancelled Urgent Operations

• The number of urgent operations cancelled was 254, which compares to 282 in March 2012 and 219 in April 2011.

Table 2 shows information on urgent operations cancelled from August 2010 to April 2012.
Details of cancelled urgent operations data for individual organisations are available on the DH website.

In addition, data on cancelled elective operations can be found on the DH website.

Delayed Transfers of Care

• There were 3,980 patients delayed at midnight on the last Thursday of the month, of which 2,362 were acute patients.

• There were 108,120 total delayed days during the month, of which 61,758 were acute. 64% of these were attributable to the NHS, 29% were attributable to Social Care and 7% where both agencies were responsible.

 • The main reason for NHS delays was “patients awaiting further non-acute NHS care”, this accounted for 31% of all NHS delays. The main reason for Social Care delays was “patients awaiting a residential home placement or availability”, this accounted for 26% of all Social Care delays. Where both the NHS and Social Care are attributable, the major reason for delay was “patients awaiting completion of assessment”. The distribution of delays remains similar to previous months.

• Following a seasonal peak last month, the number of delayed days for patients receiving acute care has decreased by around 9,700 to 61,758 days in April 2012, which is the lowest figure since May 2011.

• Similarly, the number of delayed days attributable to the NHS has decreased by around 7,700 following a seasonal peak in March 2012. The number of delayed days attributable to the NHS in April 2012 was 68,586, which is the lowest figure since April 2011.

Table 2 shows information on delayed transfers of care from August 2010 to April 2012. Table 3 shows the number of delayed transfers of care by type of care, reason for delay and responsible organisation for April 2012.

Details of delayed transfers of care data for individual organisations are available on the DH website.

Critical care bed aug 10 - Apr 12
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Statistical Notes to Editors

1. Critical Care data

Data relating to the number of available and occupied critical care beds is a monthly snapshot taken at midnight on the last Thursday of each month and can fluctuate from month to month.
 
2. Delayed Transfers of Care data

A delayed transfer of care occurs when a patient is medically fit for discharge from acute or non-acute care and is still occupying a bed. For a more detailed definition please read the guidance on the DH website.

Data on the number of patients with a delayed transfers of care is a monthly snapshot taken at midnight on the last Thursday of each month and can fluctuate from month to month. Data on the number of delayed days is a cumulative figure for the month and therefore, the two are not comparable.

Data on delayed transfers of care is collected from providers of NHS funded care and is split by:
• Local Authority that is responsible for each patient delayed
• Agency responsible for delay (NHS, Social Services or both)
• Type of care that the patient receives (acute or non-acute)
• Reason for delay
A detailed breakdown of the data can be found on the Department of Health website in CSV format.

3. Trust and Local Authority level data

Delayed transfers of care data covers NHS patients in English Hospitals, who may or may not reside in England and is published on both a trust and Local Authority basis.

Trust level reflects data at organisation level for those organisations that provide NHS funded care, for example acute Trusts, community providers, mental health trusts and Social Enterprise organisations.

Local Authority data reflects data on a regional population basis, i.e. Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibility (CASSRs) that are responsible for all patients who reside in their region.

4. Data Quality

Monthly SitReps data has been collected and published since August 2010. Prior to August 2010, data was collected weekly and was un-validated management information.
Delayed transfers of care data published during the early months of the collection from August 2010 to October 2010 should be treated with a degree of caution as a change from a weekly to a monthly data collection led to data quality issues. Since October, there has been a significant improvement in the coverage and accuracy of this data.

Critical care data published until January should be treated with a degree of caution as data on Critical Care beds was published bi-annually in a separate collection until January 2011. Since February 2011, there has been a significant improvement in the coverage and accuracy of this data.

5. Data Availability

Monthly Sitreps data is published approximately 3 - 4 weeks after the end of the reference period.

6. Revisions

Revisions to previous month’s data are made in line with the Department of Health’s revisions protocol for performance monitoring data. Future revisions will be made on a six monthly cycle. The revisions protocol can be found on the DH website.

All data in this publication was last revised in April 2012.

7. Feedback Welcomed

We welcome feedback on the content and presentation of Critical Care, Cancelled Operations and Delayed Transfers of Care statistics within this Statistical Press Notice and those published on the DH website. Please email any comments on this, or any other issues regarding the SitReps data and statistics, to: unify2@dh.gsi.gov.uk

Additional Information

The Government Statistical Service (GSS) statistician responsible for producing these data is:

Mark Svenson
Knowledge and Intelligence
Department of Health
Room 4E63, Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7UE
For data queries, email: unify2@dh.gsi.gov.uk