Western Trust has among highest admissions but lowest bed availability

The Western Trust posted the second highest percentage of inpatient and day case admissions to local hospital in the north in 2021/22.

A comprehensive analysis of hospital activity newly-published by the Department of Health (DoH) shows the Belfast Trust had the highest percentage of admissions during 2021/22, accounting for 29.3 per cent (149,559) of the total admissions. This was followed by 18.5 per cent (94,396) in the Western Trust.

The local health authority, however, had the lowest proportion of available beds over the year, the new ‘Inpatient & Day Case Activity’ report reveals. Of 5,804.2 average available beds in the north in 2021/22, 35.6 per cent (2,064.2) were located in the Belfast Trust. The Western Trust had the lowest proportion of available beds with 15.1 per cent (875.4) of the total.

The Western Trust had the second highest throughput with 48.6 admissions per bed. The Southern Trust had the highest with 56.7 admissions per bed while the Belfast Trust had the lowest with 33.2 admissions per bed.

The Western Trust has highest admissions but lower bed availability

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The Western Trust had the second lowest average length of stay at 6.2 days. This compared with Belfast - the highest in the north - where the average stay was 7.9 days.

The DoH report suggests this may have been because regional specialties such as cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery and forensic psychiatry are based in Belfast.

The amount of patients treated in the Western Trust by independent sector providers was significantly lower than other parts of the north.

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The South Eastern Trust and Belfast Trust accounted for the highest percentage of admissions, 41.7 per cent (8,363) and 34.2 per cent (6,854) respectively.

The Western Trust had the lowest proportion of Independent Sector provider admissions, with 4.8 per cent (956) of all independent sector admissions.

The Western Trust had the lowest amount of available maternity beds.

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Of the 410.4 average available beds within the maternity and child health programme of care in the north in 2021/22, 23.6 per cent (96.7) were located in Northern Trust. The Western Trust had the smallest percentage of available beds, with 16.5 per cent (67.7).