Too many emergency admissions to hospitals in England take place according to the National Audit Office. There were 5.3 million such admissions during the last financial year, which represents a 47% rise over 15 years.
Many of the individuals involved are frail elderly patients who tend to stay in hospital for longer than necessary, and who might be treated more effectively and cheaply closer to home by community-based care.
The 5.3 million emergency admissions in 2012-13 accounted for approximately 67% of hospital bed days in England, and costed roughly £12.5 billion.
Brimelow, A. (2013). Watchdog criticises ‘avoidable’ hospital admissions. London: BBC Health News, October 31st 2013.
This relates to:
The Comptroller and Auditor General of the National Audit Office: Morse, A. (2013). Emergency admissions to hospital: managing the demand. National Audit Office Report (HC 739). London: The Stationery Office [Department of Health / National Audit Office], October 25th 2013.
Possibly also of interest:
A review of the 30 per cent marginal rate rule for emergency admissions by the NHS Confederation showed that members believe the rate has realised limited benefits since 2010/11. There are concerns about a lack of transparency in how funds are collected and re-invested and about limited involvement from local commissioners and providers.
Changes to emergency admissions rate address NHS worries. London: NHS Confederation, October 21st 2013.
Loosely related BBC News analysis:
Triggle, N. (2013). Will it be a bleak winter for the NHS?. London: BBC Health News, November 5th 2013.