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Friday, 11 June 2010

A large tweet in answer to @jazzifull's claims on "productivity" in the NHS

I have looked up hosptial episode statistics and workforce statistics for Scotland and England and Wales.

As a quick and dirty measure of changes in 'productivity' I am using the number of patients discharged from the acute sector between 2004-2009 and the percentage change in NHS worforce. In Scotland this is the change in total workforce so includes not only acute sector staff but also those treating patients in the community and staff not involved in frontline patient care.

In England and Wales it is total change in professionally qualified staff, so all doctors, nurses, paramedics and other medically allied professions. This therefore also includes staff treating patients in the community. As the change in patients treated is just for the acute sector, it is important to remember that the change in workforce signficantly overestimates the increase in staff associated just with acute patient care. Even so it is still clear that the percentage increase in patients discharged from hospital between 04-09 compared with the increase in staff over the same time period does not indiate decreased 'productivity'.

The numbers discharged from all specialities in Scotland rose from 1,230,982 to 1,390,766, an increase of 13% in patients treated in hospital. The total NHS staff (including community) rose also by 13%, therefore the acute staff numbers treating this increased proportion of patients would be less.

The numbers of patients discharged from all specialties in England and Wales between 04-09 rose from 12,180,674 to 14,284,821,and increase of 17%. The total hosptial and community clinical NHS staff in England and Wales rose by 10% in the same time period.

All of these statistics can be verified from Information Statistics Website and The NHS information centre for health and social care.

Could @jazzifull, for whom this research was done, now verify your sources of information on your claims, as unfounded claims supporting political ideology need to be challenged.

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