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  1. ITV Report

Facts and Figures of the NHS: The numbers behind the headlines

The NHS in numbers Photo: David Jones / PA

The NHS was launched on 5th July 1948 and now deals with over a million patients every 36 hours.

  • The total annual attendances at Accident & Emergency Departments was 21,481,402 in 2011/12, which is a daily average of 58,692.
  • Overall in that year the NHS saw 109,121,290 patients - an average of 298,146 a day.

The total number of emergency calls in 2012/13 was 9.08 million, a 6.9% increase over last year when there were 8.49 million. Of these 2.95 million (32.5%) were category A i.e. immediately life threatening.

Across England from January to March 2013 there were 138,239 NHS beds available, this includes maternity, general and acute and mental illness beds.

The NHS employs more than 1.7m people. Only the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the Wal-Mart supermarket chain and the Indian Railways directly employ more people.

The NHS in England is the biggest part of the system by far, catering to a population of 53m and employing more than 1.35m people. The NHS in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland employs 153,427; 84,817 and 78,000 people respectively.

Just under half are clinically qualified, including:

  • 39,780 GPs
  • 370,327 nurses
  • 18,687 ambulance staff
  • 105,711 hospital and community health service (HCHS) medical and dental staff.

There were 1,000,502,416 prescribed items dispensed in England between January 2012 and December 2012. The total net ingredient cost of these was £8.5 billion.This only includes items prescribed by GPs and does not include hospital prescriptions.

NHS is currently made up of:

  • Roughly 10,500 GP practices
  • Around 2,300 hospitals in the UK
  • 211 clinical commissioning groups
  • 162 acute trusts (including 100 foundation trusts)
  • 58 mental health trusts (including 41 foundation trusts)
  • 36 community trusts (including 18 aspirant foundation trusts and 18 social enterprises)11 ambulance trusts (including 5 foundation trusts)
  • SOURCES: NHS Confederation, The NHS, Health and the Social Care Information Centre.

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