The Department of Health has published the 2017 / 18 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 2017/18, analysed by the Health and Social Care Trust, hospital, and speciality.

Inpatient Activity

  • During 2017 / 18 there were 608,578 inpatient and day case admissions to hospital in Northern Ireland. This was a decrease of 1.1 per cent (6,693) on the number of admissions during 2016 / 17, and an increase of 0.1 per cent (639) on the number admitted during 2013 / 14. Of the 608,578 admissions in 2017 / 18, 49 per cent (298,401) were inpatient admissions, and 51 per cent (310,177) were day cases
  • The day case rate for acute services has increased from 77.8 per cent in 2013 / 14 to 80.3 per cent in 2017 / 18. The greatest increase occurred between 2014 / 15 and 2015 / 16 when the day case rate increased by 0.8 percentage points from 78.3 per cent to 79.1 per cent
  • In the period between 2013 / 14 and 2017 / 18, the average number of available beds throughout Northern Ireland decreased by 4.1 per cent (249.3) from 6,151.5 to 5,902.2
  • Between 2016 / 17 and 2017 / 18 the greatest decrease in average available beds was evident in the Learning Disability programme of care, falling by 10.5 (7.8 per cent) beds from 134.6 in 2016 / 17 to 124.1 in 2017 / 18
  • The occupancy rate in hospitals in Northern Ireland was 83.6 per cent during 2017 / 18; this was an increase from 82.7 per cent in 2013 / 14 and a decrease from 83.9 per cent in 2016 / 17
  • The average length of stay in hospitals has shown an overall decrease from 6.1 days in 2013 / 14 to six days in 2017 / 18

Outpatient Activity

  • Due to major changes between 2014 / 15 and 2015 / 16 regarding the outpatient activity figures, it is only possible to provide trend data on outpatient activity in health and social care hospitals from 2015 / 16 onwards
  • During 2017 / 18, there were 1,456,651 attendances at consultant-led outpatient services within health and social care hospitals in Northern Ireland. This was a decrease of 51,084 attendances on the 1,507,735 seen during 2016 / 17
  • Some 32 per cent (466,823) of patients seen during 2017 / 18 were new attendances, with the other 68 per cent (989,828) being review attendances, resulting in a new to review ratio of 1:2.1
  • Patients missed a total of 128,407 appointments during 2017 / 18, giving a Did Not Attend rate of 8.1
  • Patients cancelled 191,803 appointments during 2017 / 18, giving a Could Not Attend rate of 11.6
  • Hospitals cancelled a total of 166,238 appointments during 2017 / 18, giving a hospital cancellation rate of 10.2
  • During 2017 / 18, 10,643 patients attended an appointment with an independent sector provider, commissioned by the health service
  • When attendances at health and social care trusts and independent sector activity are combined, there were 1,467,294 consultant-led attendances in Northern Ireland during 2017 / 18

ICATS Activity

  • During 2017 / 18, 116,292 patients were seen at an ICATS service in Northern Ireland. This was a decrease of 44 on the 116,336 seen during 2016 / 17
    Some 42.3 per cent (49,147) of patients seen during 2017 / 18 were new attendances, with the other 57.7 per cent (67,145) being review attendances, resulting in a new to review ratio of 1:1.4
  • Patients missed a total of 10,944 ICATS appointments during 2017 / 18, giving a Did Not Attend rate of 8.6, compared with a rate of 8.5 reported for 2016 / 17
  • Patients cancelled 16,157 appointments during 2017/ 18, giving a Could Not Attend (CNA) rate of 12.2, compared with a CNA rate of 11.8 reported for 2016 / 17
  • Hospitals cancelled 9,190 appointments during 2017 / 18, giving a hospital cancellation rate of 7.3, compared with a hospital cancellation rate of 6.9 reported during 2016/17

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