Hospital activity

Hospital activity levels

Sources: NHS England (2015 a, b); Office for National Statistics (2014, 2013 a, b)

Hospitals have been getting busier over the past five years, with increased numbers of emergency (non-elective) admissions, elective admissions, and outpatient attendances. Between October and December 2014 there were 1.4 million emergency admissions to hospital; almost 2 million elective admissions; 4.3 million people attended a first outpatient appointment; and 5.5 million people went to A&E.

Population change is one factor driving increased NHS activity, but between 2009/10 and 2013/14 hospital activity increased at a faster rate than the population grew. Other factors such as the increasing numbers of older people, changes in the way that services are provided and changes in clinical practice have also combined to increase hospital activity.

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