Skip to main content

Hospital Outpatient Activity data published

1 December 2016: Statistics on outpatient activity in English NHS Hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector during 2015-16 are published by NHS Digital today.

"Hospital Outpatient Activity 2015-16" describes the quantity and type of outpatient activity carried out. It also includes detailed tables at national level as well as broken down by hospital providers.

The report does not examine statistics relating to admitted patient activity, or attendances at A&E departments, although these are available separately.

Information included in the report and data tables includes:

  •  Outpatient attendances by age and gender
  •  Changes over time (2005-6 to 2015-16)
  •  Appointments, attendances and Did Not Attends (DNAs)
  •  First appointments
  •  All appointments
  •  Diagnosis
  •  Procedures and interventions

Provider-level analysis includes information at provider level (where submitted) relating to:

  •  Appointments
  •  Attendances
  •  Age band
  •  Time waited
  •  Consultant main specialty

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.

HES data sets are the data source for a wide range of healthcare analysis for the NHS, government and many other organisations and individuals.

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 period, so first appointments are not the same as a count of patients.

For the 2015-16 financial year, HES has collected over 113 million records detailing outpatient appointments at NHS hospitals in England or performed in the independent sector, and commissioned by the English NHS.

Read the full report at: 


Notes to editors

1. NHS Digital is the national information and technology provider for the health and care system. Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend. During the 2015-16 financial year, NHS Digital published 294 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better. NHS Digital is the new trading name for the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). We provide 'Information and Technology for better health and care'. Find out more about our role and remit at

2. For media enquiries please contact or telephone 0300 30 33 888

Last edited: 30 August 2019 1:48 pm