If you were born in the 1930’s and came to one of our clinics between 1998 and 2004 you may remember agreeing that we could look at your GP records in the years that followed.
Although we have not done this, your consent has allowed us to obtain a brief coded summary for each hospital admission you had between the time that we first met and 2010 – information that would have been in your GP record anyway. We would stress that we have not seen your hospital file; just anonymous lines of code generated from it for administrative purposes. Using this information, we have been able to draw up a picture of how people use the health service as they age; something that is important to know in the face of the current NHS crisis.
- Altogether, 3000 cohort members experienced 8740 hospital admissions, over half of which were day-cases
- A quarter of all the admissions were emergencies
- Only 5% of admissions lasted more than 2 weeks
- 53% of men and 47% of women were admitted to hospital at least once between their clinic visit and 2010, but 28% of people had no admissions at all
- The commonest investigative procedures were on the digestive and urinary tracts and the heart
- Cataract surgery and hip and knee replacement were the commonest operations
- Overall admission rates among cohort members were lower than the national average for people of the same age. Admissions were also more likely to be day cases and less likely to be emergencies than the national average
We are now investigating what factor or combination of factors that we measured in clinic distinguished people who went on to have lots of hospital admissions from those who had none. If we could draw up a profile of a person vulnerable to admission, people who matched that profile could be offered special treatment before they ended up in hospital.
- Simmonds SJ, Syddall HE, Walsh B, Evandrou M, Dennison EM, Cooper C, et al. Understanding NHS hospital admissions in England: linkage of Hospital Episode Statistics to the Hertfordshire Cohort Study. Age Ageing. 2014;43(5):653-60.