This publication looks at Outpatient activity in England for the financial year 2020-21.
This report includes but is not limited to analysis of hospital outpatient appointments by patient demographics, diagnoses, attendance type, operations, specialty and provider level analysis. It describes NHS appointments in England during financial year 2020-21.
The data source for this publication is Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), which come from the HES data warehouse containing details of all admissions, outpatient appointments and accident and emergency (A&E) attendances at National Health Service (NHS) hospitals in England. It includes private patients treated in NHS hospitals, patients who were resident outside of England and care delivered by treatment centres (including those in the independent sector) funded by the NHS.
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES)
HES datasets are the data source for a wide range of healthcare analyses for the NHS, Government and many other organisations and individuals. HES is sourced from the Secondary Uses Service (SUS) database, which is collected from hospitals’ patient administration systems on a monthly basis at record level.
Each record in HES includes a wide range of information including details of the patient (age, gender, geographic details), when they were treated and what they were treated for.
Records in the HES Outpatient database are called ‘appointments’. There is one row per appointment, regardless of whether or not it is attended. Appointments which are attended are called ‘attendances’. A patient is often invited to a series of appointments, the first of which is known as the ‘first appointment’. An individual patient may have more than one series of attendances in a given period, so first appointments are not the same as a count of patients.
For the 2020-21 financial year, HES has collected just under 102 million records detailing outpatient appointments at NHS hospitals in England or performed in the independent sector and commissioned by the English NHS.
Each record in HES includes a wide range of information including details of the patient (age, gender, geographic regions), when they were treated and what they were treated for.
This National Statistics publication releases some high-level analyses of HES data relating to outpatient appointments in NHS hospitals.
Last edited: 10 January 2023 2:45 pm