The following statistics were released today by the Department of Health:
Latest monthly hospital activity events (up to and including December 2011)
The main findings compare the year to date (YTD) to December 2011/12 to the same period in 2010/11. Year to date is a cumulative count of activity from the start of the financial year (ie we are comparing activity from April to December 2011/12 to activity in the period April to December 2010/11).
The key points from the latest release are:
GP referrals made this year, on a year to date (YTD) basis, are currently showing a 2.3% decrease, compared to the same period last year. These referrals had shown a 2.2% increase at the same stage last year.
GP referrals seen this year, on a YTD basis, are currently showing a 2.7% decrease compared to the same period last year.
The volume of first outpatient attendances, on a YTD basis, is showing a 0.5% decrease compared to the same period last year.
Elective growth this year, on a YTD basis, is currently 2.8%. At the same stage last year elective growth was 3.3%.
The day case rate (the proportion of total elective admissions that were day cases) on a YTD basis is currently 78.6%.
Non-elective admissions, on a YTD basis, have decreased by 2.0% compared to the same period last year.
Full tables are available on the Department of Health website.
Notes to Editors
This dataset covers some key aspects of inpatient and outpatient activity in the NHS.
This is a count of activity for a given month.
Provider and Commissioner based data
Commissioner based returns reflect data on a responsible population basis, which is defined as:
- all those patients resident within the PCT boundary; plus
- all patients registered with GPs who are members of the PCT but are resident in another PCT; minus
- All patients resident in the PCT but registered with a GP who is a member of another PCT
Commissioner based returns also include data for specialised commissioning. These are separate from the PCTs as there are different arrangements for commissioning specialised services.
Provider based returns cover patients who were treated in hospitals in England.
Year to Date
This is a CUMULATIVE count of activity from the start of the year to the end of a given month. Usually analysis is on a financial year basis. Looking at data on a year to date basis “smoothes” the data and aids analysis.
GP referrals made (general & acute)
This is a count of the referrals made by GPs to hospital consultants for a first outpatient appointment in general & acute specialties.
GP referrals seen (general & acute)
This is a count of the GP referrals seen by hospital consultants as a first attendance appointment in general & acute specialties. There is a time lag between GP referrals made and seen so that not all the referrals made in a given month are seen in the same month. Not all “GP referrals made” result in a “GP referral seen” as some referrals will be seen as inappropriate and do not require a consultant outpatient appointment. In these instances the referral will be returned to the GP. In addition some patients do not attend (DNA) appointments. Inappropriate referrals and DNAs contribute to the difference in volumes between GP referrals “made” and “seen”.
First Outpatient attendances (general & acute)
This is the number of first outpatient attendances in general and acute specialties where the patient was seen by a consultant (or a doctor acting for the consultant). This count of attendances is for all sources of referral and is not restricted to just those as a result of a GP referral.
Elective ordinary admissions (general & acute)
This is a count of ordinary elective admissions made to general & acute specialties in a given month. An ordinary admission is a hospital admission requiring an overnight stay.
Elective day case admissions (general & acute)
This is a count of the day case admissions made to general & acute specialties in a given month. A day case admission is where a patient is admitted to hospital but an overnight stay is not required. The day case rate is calculated by expressing the volume of day case admissions as a proportion of all elective admissions ie. elective ordinary admissions and elective day case admissions combined.
Elective admissions (general & acute)
This is the count of elective ordinary admissions and elective day case admissions to general & acute specialties in a given month. There are three different admission methods for elective patients - waiting list, booked and planned. These categories are technical in nature and potentially misleading as both waiting list AND booked patients are, in lay terms, “admitted from a waiting list”. Planned patients - again this is a technical term as to the lay person all elective patients might be considered to be “planned”. In this more technical context, planned patients are a subset of elective patients and are those patients for whom the wait for admission was determined by clinical constraints rather than resource constraints. For example, a cancer patient will be required to wait a clinically appropriate period between doses of chemotherapy and these admissions will be classified as planned.
Elective ordinary admissions planned (general & acute)
This is the count of planned patients admitted as elective ordinary admissions in general & acute specialties.
Elective day case admission planned (general & acute)
This is the count of planned patients admitted as elective day case admissions in general & acute specialties. The proportion of elective admissions which are planned can be calculated by adding the planned ordinary admissions and planned day case admissions. Data is not collected separately on waiting list & booked admissions but the proportion of such admissions can be deduced by subtracting the proportion of planned electives from the total. So, for example, if 25% of elective admissions are planned the remainder (75%) by deduction are, in lay terms, “waiting list” (in technical terms “waiting list & booked”) admissions.
We welcome feedback on the content and presentation of these statistics within this Statistical Press Notice and those published on the DH website. If anyone has any comments on this, or any other issues regarding the data and statistics, then please email:
Full details of activity data for individual organisations is available on the Department of Health website.
Press enquiries contact:
Department of Health
Telephone: 020 7210 5221
The Government Statistical Service (GSS) statistician responsible for producing these data is:
Knowledge and Intelligence
Department of Health
Room 4E63, Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7UE