Hospitals in England are managed by acute trusts, which ensure hospitals provide high-quality healthcare and that they spend their money efficiently. They also decide how a hospital will develop and employ its staff - nurses, doctors, and non-clinical personnel.
As part of the government’s reforms, all NHS trusts are expected to be foundation trusts – which have more autonomy over their own management - by 2014.
Primary Care Trusts used to be the level above acute trusts and would ensure that local service needs were being met, and Strategic Health Authorities, which set longer term development plans and ensuring national priorities were being met, used to be the level above that. Now they’ve been replaced by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which are led by GPs.
A full list of NHS and private hospitals in the UK is provided by Dr Foster Health. Lists of hospital trusts, ambulance trusts, mental health trusts, CCGs and other levels of the NHS structure are provided by NHS Choices. NHS England publishes a map of where CCGs are.
Full lists of hospital trusts, ambulance trusts, mental health trusts, CCGs and other levels of the NHS structure are provided by NHS Choices. NHS England also publishes a list of CCGs with details of the Clinical Leads and Accountable Officers.
NHS England publishes a map of where CCGs are.
Figures for hospital admissions and stays within a financial year are provided by the annual hospital episodes statistics published by NHS Digital.
‘Episodes’ are continuous periods of care within a particular consultant speciality at a particular hospital. So if patients are transferred to different consultants during their treatment, they start a new episode. The entire period from admission to discharge is called a ‘spell’ of treatment. So spells are made up of one or more episodes of care.
There are five annual series:
Hospital admitted patient care activity shows the number of admissions, type of admission (for instance by emergency or on a waiting list), age and sex of the patient, waiting times, length of stay during the spell and the total number of episodes patients experienced.
This data is broken down by hospital, cause of admission, the main procedure involved (and what part of the body is concerned), the consultant’s main speciality (for instance, neurosurgery) and the main diagnosis. There are also summary tables for the total number of procedures carried out in hospitals.
Hospital outpatient activity provides data on patients who don’t need hospital beds to recover (so-called outpatients).
Hospital maternity activity are specific to maternity wards.
Hospital adult critical care activity provides data on patients who have spent time in hospital critical care units, the nature of the care they received and the death rates.
Hospital accident and emergency activity refer to A&E visits, although these figures are experimental and there are lots of counting problems. A better source for summary figures is NHS England’s weekly A&E attendances.
In addition, there used to be detailed statistics each month on a ‘topic of interest’ such as admissions for assaults, intentional self-harm, asthma, eating disorders, liver disease, falls, stress, anxiety and dog and animal bites.