The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety today published the 2014/15 Inpatient, Day Case and Outpatient Hospital Statistics for Northern Ireland.
These Hospital Statistics publications outline (a) the number of inpatient and day case admissions and (b) the number of attendances at consultant led outpatient services in Northern Ireland during 2014/15, analysed by health and social care trust, hospital and specialty.
Key Findings 2014/15
- During 2014/15 there were 606,144 inpatient and day case admissions to hospital in Northern Ireland. This was a decrease of 0.3% (1,795) on the number of admissions during 2013/14 and an increase of 4.3% (25,153) on the number admitted during 2010/11. Of the 606,144 admissions in 2014/15, 50.5% (306,043) were patients admitted as inpatient admissions with the other 49.5% (300,101) day cases.
- The day case rate for acute services has increased from 74.2% in 2010/11 to 78.3% in 2014/15. The greatest increase occurred between 2010/11 and 2011/12 when the day case rate increased by 2.9 percentage points from 74.2% to 77.1%.
- In the period between 2010/11 and 2014/15, the average number of available beds throughout Northern Ireland decreased by 10.3% (691) from 6,725 to 6,034.
- Between 2013/14 and 2014/15 the greatest decrease in average available beds was evident in the Learning Disability programme of care, falling by 61 (26.8%) beds from 230 in 2013/14 to 169 in 2014/15.
- The occupancy rate in hospitals in Northern Ireland was 83.2% during 2014/15; this was an increase from 82.7% in 2013/14 and was an increase from 82.9% in 2010/11.
- Average length of stay in hospitals has fallen consistently each year from 6.9 days in 2010/11 to 6.0 days in 2014/15. In the last year average length of stay fell by 0.1 days from 6.1 days in 2013/14 to 6.0 days in 2014/15.
- During 2014/15, 1,501,064 patients were seen at consultant led outpatient services within HSC hospitals in Northern Ireland.
- Some 31.6% (474,561) of patients seen during 2014/15 were new attendances, with the other 68.4% (1,026,503) being review attendances, resulting in a new to review ratio of 1:2.2.
- Patients missed a total of 147,536 appointments during 2014/15, giving a Did Not Attend (DNA) rate of 8.9, lower than the rate of 9.1 reported for 2013/14 and the rate of 10.3 reported for 2010/11.
- Patients cancelled 194,257 appointments during 2014/15, giving a Could Not Attend (CNA) rate of 11.5, compared with a rate of 11.2 reported for 2013/14 and a rate of 11.0 reported for 2010/11.
- Hospitals cancelled a total of 168,555 appointments during 2014/15, giving a hospital cancellation rate of 10.1, compared with a hospital cancellation rate of 9.7 reported for 2013/14 and a rate of 10.9 for 2010/11.
- During 2014/15, 53,010 patients attended an appointment with an Independent Sector Provider, commissioned by the Health Service.
- When attendances at HSC Trusts and Health Service Independent Sector activity are combined, there were 1,554,074 consultant led attendances in Northern Ireland during 2014/15.
- During 2014/15, 107,407 patients were seen at an ICATS service in Northern Ireland. This was a decrease of 4.0% (4,499) on the 111,906 seen during 2013/14.
- Some 41.5% (44,604) of patients seen during 2014/15 were new attendances, the other 58.5% (62,803) being review attendances, resulting in a new to review ratio of 1:1.4.
- Compared to 2013/14, new attendances decreased by 4.9% (2,279), whereas review attendances decreased by 3.4% (2,220).
- Patients missed a total of 9,724 ICATS appointments during 2014/15, giving a Did Not Attend (DNA) rate of 8.3, compared with a rate of 8.1 reported for 2013/14.
- Patients cancelled 14,908 appointments during 2014/15, giving a Could Not Attend (CNA) rate of 12.2, compared with a CNA rate of 11.8 reported for 2013/14.
- Hospitals cancelled 9,794 appointments during 2014/15, giving a hospital cancellation rate of 8.4, compared with a hospital cancellation rate of 7.4 reported during 2013/14.
Notes to editors:
1. Publication of Northern Ireland Hospital Statistics: Inpatient and Outpatient Activity 2014/15
- Hospital Information Branch (DHSSPS) publish annual data relating to (i) Inpatient and Day Case Activity; (ii) Outpatient Activity; (iii) Emergency Care Activity and (iv) Mental Health and Learning Disability Activity.
- This statistical press release relates to the publication of the two National Statistics publications containing data relating to (i) Inpatient and Day Case Activity and (ii) Outpatient Activity. Data relating to Emergency Care Activity were published on 26th June 2015, with data on Mental Health and Learning Disability Activity due to be published on 3 September 2015
2. Data definitions
Inpatient and day case activity
Inpatient admissions include both (a) patients admitted electively with the expectation that they will remain in hospital for at least one night, and (b) non-elective admissions (e.g. emergency admissions). A patient who is admitted with this intention but who leaves hospital for any reason without staying overnight is still counted as an inpatient. Day cases and regular attenders are not included.
A patient admitted electively during the course of a day with the intention of receiving care who does not require the use of a hospital bed overnight and who returns home as scheduled. If this original intention is not fulfilled and the patient stays overnight, such a patient should be counted as an inpatient. Regular attenders have been included in day case figures with the exception of the acute programme of care.
Average available/occupied beds
The average number of available and occupied beds during the year in wards that are open overnight, measured at midnight. Hospitals may also have a number of beds in wards that are only open during the day. Beds reserved for day care admission or regular day admission are not included.
A patient who attends a clinic to see a consultant, a member of their team, or a locum for such a member.
Outpatient did not attend – DNA
DNA refers to the number of patients with an appointment who did not attend and failed to give advance warning to the hospital. This includes patients who cancelled their outpatient appointment on the same day on which the appointment was scheduled. The DNA rate is calculated by taking the number of missed appointments (DNAs) as a rate of the sum of the total number of attendances and missed appointments.
Appointment cancelled by patient – CNA
A patient cancellation refers to an appointment that was intended to be held but was cancelled by the patient, with the patient contacting the hospital no later than the day before the appointment is scheduled and informing the hospital that they are unable to attend the scheduled appointment. The CNA rate is calculated by taking the number of patient cancellations (CNAs) as a rate of the sum of the total number of attendances and patient cancellations.
Appointment cancelled by the hospital
An appointment that was intended to be held, but which did not occur, due to circumstances within the hospital. Appointments may be cancelled by the hospital for a variety of reasons. These include, in order to reschedule the appointment to an alternative date and due to the unavailability of the consultant. The hospital cancellation rate is calculated by taking the number of appointments cancelled by hospitals as a rate of the sum of the total number of attendances and appointments cancelled by hospitals.
Note: The number of attendances does not equate to the number of individual patients seen, as it is possible for the same person to attend a consultant led outpatient service more than once during the year. This is the same when looking at missed and cancelled appointments, as it is possible for the same person to miss or cancel their appointment or have their appointment cancelled by the hospital more than once during the year.
Integrated clinical assessment and treatment services (ICATS)
ICATS is the term used for a range of outpatient services for patients, which are provided by integrated multi-disciplinary teams of health service professionals, including GPs with a special interest, specialist nurses and allied health professionals. They are provided in a variety of primary, community and secondary care settings and they include assessment, treatment, diagnostic and advisory services.
An ICATS Tier 2 appointment is a non consultant outpatient appointment. Following ICATS Triage, patients who have not been given either a discharge, advice only or referral incomplete outcome will proceed for either a (i) first outpatient appointment, (ii) a diagnostic test or (iii) an ICATS Tier 2 appointment. Following a first Tier 2 ICATS appointment there are a number of outcomes, including a review Tier 2 ICATS appointment or a referral for a first consultant led outpatient appointment.
ICATS Tier 2 appointments attended, those missed by patients (DNA), cancelled by patients (CNA) or cancelled by the hospital (Hospital Cancellations) are defined similarly to those for consultant led outpatient services. Reasons for cancellation of ICATS Tier 2 appointments are not currently collected by the Department.
3. This information was collated by Hospital Information Branch, DHSSPS. For further information contact Hospital Information Branch
4. Media queries to DHSSPS Press Office on 02890 520074, or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt