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Publication, Part of

Hospital Outpatient Activity 2020-21

National statistics

National Statistics

Impact of COVID-19


The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began to have an impact late in the 2019-20 financial year.

The first official lockdown began on the 16th March 2020 and restrictions were gradually eased throughout the Summer.

A second national lockdown was implemented on the 5th November 2020 and lasted until the 2nd December 2020 when the tier system was implemented. Restrictions were relaxed over the Christmas period and England entered the third national lockdown on the 6th January 2021.

The following analysis shows the impact of COVID-19 and these restrictions on weekly outpatient activity throughout the year 2020-21.

COVID-19 Impact - planned and attended appointments

In 2019-20 prior to the first lockdown there were approx. 2,500,000 planned outpatient appointments per week with approx. 2,000,000 attendances.

By early April 2020 (during the first lockdown) weekly appointments fell by over 40 per cent, and weekly attendances fell by over 50 per cent compared to these previous averages.

Activity levels recovered during 2020-21 but remained below pre-COVID averages at the end of the period.

Last edited: 10 January 2023 2:45 pm