Press release

Statistical press notice: Monthly critical care beds, cancelled urgent operations and delayed transfers of care data, England – December 2011

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

Monthly data for critical care beds, cancellend urgent operations and delayed transfers of care for December 2011 published

The main findings for December 2011 were:

Critical Care Beds

  • There were 3,696 adult critical care beds available and 2,961 occupied giving an occupancy rate of 80.1%. This is lower than December 2010, where the figure was 87.4%.
  • There were 393 paediatric critical care beds available and 335 occupied, giving an occupancy rate of 85.2%. This is the same occupancy rate as December 2010 and is the highest occupancy rate since December 2010.
  • There were 1,295 neo-natal critical care beds available and 953 occupied giving an occupancy rate of 73.6%. This is lower than December 2010, where the figure was 75.3%. Occupancy has ranged between 70.4% and 76.4% over the 9 months of this financial year.

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

Cancelled Urgent Operations

  • The number of urgent operations cancelled was 389, which compares to 419 in November 2011 and 322 in December 2010.

Table 2 shows information on urgent operations cancelled from August 2010 to December 2011.
Details of cancelled urgent operations data for individual organisations are available on the Department of Health website.

In addition, data on cancelled elective operations can be found on the Department of Health website.

Delayed Transfers of Care

  • There were 3,659 patients delayed on the last Thursday of the month, of which 2,027 were acute patients. This is an overall decrease of around 550 patients from last month, although this was a similar decrease to the same period last year and can be attributed to the seasonal effect due to the last Thursday of December being in the Christmas and New Year period.
  • There were 112,999 total delayed days during the month, of which 62,689 were acute. 62% of these were attributable to the NHS, 30% were attributable to Social care and 8% where both agencies were responsible.
  • The main reason for NHS delays was “patients awaiting further non-acute NHS care”, this accounted for 30% 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.

Table 2 shows information on delayed transfers of care from August 2010 to December 2011. Table 3 shows the number of delayed transfers of care by type of care, reason for delay and responsible organisation for December 2011.

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

December 11 monthly sitrep spn-tables

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 Department of Health.

Data on the number of patients with a delayed transfers of care is a monthly snapshot taken atmidnighton 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 inCSVformat at:

3.      **Trust and Local Authority level data **

Delayed transfers of care data covers NHS patients in English Hospitals, who may or may not reside inEnglandand 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 Department of Health website.

Delayed Transfers of Care data were last revised in October 2011. Critical Care and Cancelled Operations data were last revised in July 2011.

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

For press enquiries, please contact the DH press office on 020 7210 5221.

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