Beds and operations

What people are treated for

Admitted patient care figures from NHS Digital show 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.

Bed availability and occupancy

Figures for bed availability are broken down into two types: overnight and ‘day only’ beds. Figures for both are published every three months by NHS England

These provide a snapshot of the total number of available beds by purpose (for instance, maternity beds) and by local trust as well as the proportion which are occupied on a particular day in the time period. Overnight beds are ‘occupied’ if they’re occupied at midnight, while ‘day only’ beds are occupied if they’re put to use at least once during the day.

Historical figures date back to the 1980s.

Separate figures for ‘critical care bed capacity’ are published every month. ‘Critical care’ is when patients need more detailed observation than normal, when they need support breathing or have failing organ systems (also known as intensive care). This data provides details on the adult, paediatric and neonatal critical care beds available at a particular time according to local area trust.

Cancelled operations and delayed care

Figures for the number of operations that are cancelled are published by NHS England as part of their quarterly cancelled elective operations series. Elective operations follow a patient being admitted from a waiting list, as opposed to needing surgery because of an emergency (or maternity) admission.

This data provides details on the number of operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons and whether the patients end up being seen within a month of cancellation. There are also breakdowns by local health trust. This statistical series dates back to 2010.

Figures for urgent operations that have been cancelled and those cancelled on multiple occasions are published separately alongside critical care bed capacity numbers.

Information published annually by NHS England provides information on the number of patients who see their care delayed through transfers to other departments or hospitals. There are breakdowns by the reason for delay (such as lack of funding) and for local trusts, as well as historical figures dating back to 2010.

Winter pressures and ambulance queues

It’s a time of year dreaded by many care providers – particularly A&E departments. Since last year NHS England has published daily situation reports from November to February on pressures facing local NHS trusts such as: A&E closures and diversions, ambulances delayed and queuing outside hospitals, people waiting on trolleys, cancelled operations and delayed transfers of care.