This week it has been reported by NHS Digital, the national provider of information, data and IT systems for commissioners, analysts and clinicians in health and social care in England, that hospital admissions in England rose to record levels last year, with 16.2 million admissions during 2015-16 – up from 12.7 million ten years ago. They have also stated that, while the total number of admissions has increased by 56 per cent since 2005-06 (6.8 million to 10.6 million), the average length of a hospital admission has reduced from 6.6 days in 2005-06 to 4.9 days in 2015-16.
At the same time the number of hospital beds has been reducing at a steady downward rate so that in England there are now 51% less beds overall than there was in 1987-88. See:
These figures aare not a surprise for anyone who has an interest in working with older people in acute hospital care, but it does show clearly the pressure that exists on hospitals and the real need to convince people that going to hospital is not always the most effective way to get healthcare. They also show that investment in better health and social care in the community is now becoming essential, as the only other solutiomn is to invest in building more hospitals and creating more beds and that seems highly unlikely!
Note this is just as relevant in all parts of the UK, its just that its not often that you can get a hold of these figures as easily as I have been able to this month.
The other thing to bear in mind when you are looking at these figures is that ‘Winter is Coming’ and there is an interesting article on the BBC Health News Pages on that very topic at: