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Outpatient Activity

Hospital Care

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Introduction

Patients who require the medical opinion of a specialist clinician may be referred to an outpatient clinic for treatment or investigation. An outpatient is a patient who attends (outpatient attendance) a consultant or other medical clinic or has an arranged meeting with a consultant or a senior member of their team out with a clinic session. Outpatients are not admitted to a hospital and do not use a hospital bed.

Outpatient attendances can be categorised as new or follow-up (return) attendances. A clinic may be held in a hospital outpatient department, a health centre or another location.

A variety of operations are carried out in NHSScotland and increasingly, less complex procedure are undertaken in an outpatient setting. For further information on these procedures, see the Operations/Procedures section of these pages.

The majority of information within this page is currently classed as National Statistics. Data on Outpatient activity for Nurse and Allied Health Professionals is classed as Official Statistics. Currently the statistics are produced in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, available on the UK Statistics Authority website.

Consultant-led Outpatient Activity

Information on consultant outpatient activity is available for both quarterly and annual time periods. Quarterly data are presented for the most recent nine quarters and annual figures are shown for the last ten years.

Annual Statistics

Quarterly Statistics

In order to view these files, your macro security settings will need to be set to medium. To change macro security settings using Tools, Macro, Security - set security level to Medium and re-open the report.

Please note: To allow as up to date trends as possible to be shown, some estimates have been necessary and are presented in the above tables. Quarterly figures may be revised in future publications and should be treated with caution.

Allied Health Professionals & Other Technical Departments

AHP & OTD specialties have been grouped in the tables for presentation purposes. Feedback on the groupings used is welcome. Please note that AHP / OTD contacts with hospital inpatients and day patients are not shown here but can be made available on request.

Other points that should be noted are: the information presented is a simple summation of quarterly data returned in aggregate form by boards. In general, the figures supplied by boards includes activity provided by hospital-based services. Care provided in the community is excluded except where that care is provided by hospital-based staff (an example is the chiropody figures, which exclude information on community-based staff). This is not thought to be universally the case, however, and it is possible that recording practice may vary between some boards, as for certain AHP specialties. For this reason, the figures are better viewed as indicative rather than precise counts of activity and any conclusions drawn from use of these data should take this into account.

Outpatient activity for Allied Health Professionals is currently classed as Official Statistics. The statistics are produced in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, available on the UK Statistics Authority website.

The tables in the documents below present information on reported AHP and Other Technical Departments (OTD) activity collected as part of the existing national ISD(S)1 statistical scheme. For each year, Table 1 shows new and total attendances (non-inpatients, non-day patients) for Scotland and Table 2 presents information for new attendances by NHS Board. Data is shown for the last 5 financial years (2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13).

AHP and OTD; new and total attendances (non-inpatients, non day-patients); NHS Scotland; year ending 31 March 2013Download Excel file [38Kb]
AHP and OTD; new and total attendances (non-inpatients, non day-patients); NHS Scotland; year ending 31 March 2012Download Excel file [38Kb]
AHP and OTD; new and total attendances (non-inpatients, non day-patients); NHS Scotland; year ending 31 March 2011Download Excel file [39Kb]
AHP and OTD; new and total attendances (non-inpatients, non day-patients); NHS Scotland; year ending 31 March 2010Download Excel file [38Kb]
AHP and OTD; new and total attendances (non-inpatients, non day-patients); NHS Scotland; year ending 31 March 2009Download Excel file [38Kb]

Nurse-led Clinics

One example of changing methods of delivering care and treatment in hospital has been the greater use of nurse-led outpatient clinics. Although this nurse-led activity has been recognised as a growing feature in the modern NHS, it has not been possible, until now, to quantify the extent of this activity at national level from routine national information systems. Work is in hand to establish robust information processes in NHS Boards that identify the nature and scope of nurse-led activity based on improved definitions and standards and explicit reporting of activities undertaken.

The ISD(S)1 aggregated statistical scheme was extended to capture this activity. The findings of five full years of collection (2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13) are presented in the table linked below - covering nurse-led clinics in acute specialties and other non-acute specialties.

Outpatient activity for Nurse Led clinics is currently classed as Official Statistics. The statistics are produced in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, available on the UK Statistics Authority website.

ISD has worked with data suppliers in NHS Boards to overcome some of the difficulties experienced in producing this data over the last year to improve its coverage and quality. The data previously published on this site have been revised as a result of this collaborative work to better reflect the extent of this outpatient activity.

ISD has also made provision for the recording of nurse-led activity using the person-based SMR00 recording scheme. This provision should allow, in the future, explicit identification of the types of procedures carried out by specialist nurses as well as insight into the characteristics of patients seen in nurse-led clinics.

Table presenting preliminary aggregate data supplied by NHS Boards covering nurse-led patient contacts in acute and non-acute specialties for the years ending 31 March 2008 to 2012 Download Excel file [40Kb].


© ISD Scotland 2010
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