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By projecting trends over the period 1971-85 in discharge rates and lengths of stay in acute and geriatric National Health Service hospitals in England, it is estimated that by 1995 the discharge rate will have risen by 13% and average lengths of stay will have fallen by 26%. Combining these projections with current population projections for England, it is estimated that 13% fewer beds will be in daily use. These changes are shown to vary widely across specialties. The projections reveal that demographic change per se is a less important source of change than are changing activity rates. The 'trend' projections suggest that purchasers and providers within internal markets will have to take account of very different degrees of pressure between specialties. They can provide information which is essential for negotiations about local needs and local contracts.



Health Policy

Publication Date





269 - 275


Aged, Data Collection, Demography, England, Forecasting, Health Care Costs, Hospitals, Humans, Length of Stay, Longitudinal Studies, Patient Discharge, Regression Analysis, State Medicine