Provision & Use of Services
Hospital admission rates up between 1990 and 1997
Specialist inpatient provision of acute units for children and adolescents aged under 19 years by region and country, 1999
In 1999, Northern Ireland had the highest specialist inpatient provision of units per child with each acute unit serving less than 35,000 children and adolescents aged under 19 years. England had the lowest with each unit serving over 46,000 children and adolescents. In England the highest provision of acute units per child was in the Northern and Yorkshire region, where each unit served less than 40,000 children and adolescents and the lowest was in Trent, with provision for 58,000.
The provision of acute paediatric and neonatal facilities in England decreased slightly from 13.2 beds per 10,000 in 1997 to 12.4 per 10,000 in 2000. Between 1996/1997 and 2000/2001 the occupancy of acute paediatric beds in England was between 61 and 63 per cent. Provision of acute paediatric and neonatal facilities was lowest in Scotland, falling from 10 beds per 10,000 in 1997 to 9.6 per 10,000 in 2000. Occupancy levels of medical and surgical paediatric beds in Scotland fell from 57 per cent in 1997 to 54 per cent in 2001.
In England, hospital admission rates for children aged under five years (includes paediatric and child surgery) increased from 85 per 1,000 child population in 1990 to 100 per 1,000 in 1997. For children aged 5 to 14 years, admission rates increased from 17 per 1,000 child population in 1990 to 22 per 1,000 in 1997.
In 1999/2000, trauma and orthopaedics surgery had a high proportion (73 per cent) of inpatient emergency surgical admissions for children aged under 16 years. Emergency surgical admissions were also high in plastics (68 per cent) and trauma and orthopaedics surgery (67 per cent) among children aged 16 to 18 years.
Rate per 10,000 child population receiving services by category of need, 2000 & 2001
The type of local authority social services with the greatest need among children in England was for abuse or neglect (66 per 10,000 child population in 2001). Rates for abuse or neglect services were highest in the Yorkshire and Humberside region (92 per 10,000 in 2001) and lowest in East of England (50 per 10,000 in 2001). London had the highest rates among children requiring services for reasons of low income and absent parenting.
Sources: Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (1999) Profile of Children's Acute Services in the UK. Department of Health ISD Scotland MacFaul R and Werneke U (2001) Recent Trends in Hospital Use by Children in England. Arch Dis Child 85, 203-208 Hospital Episode Statistics