By Sue Thomas
For the last 4 years we have analysed hospital statistics from NHS Digital to understand the numbers of people with MS who accessing hospital in an emergency. This data provides us with some understanding of how we can work with people who have MS and the health care professionals supporting them to ensure that targeted support is provided. In 2017/18 we can see from the table that there were 29,449 emergency admissions to hospital for people with MS for 18,324 people which means that the average number of admissions per person needing emergency care was 1.6.
These admissions cost the NHS just over £49 million. This figure has reduced by just under £1 million from the prior year but this is still a huge amount of money.
Common reasons for admission were respiratory issues at a cost of £6 million and emergency bladder and bowel problems at a cost of £5 million. Aside from the cost of these admissions to the NHS the distress to patients is enormous. If each MS service was able to proactively manage respiratory, bladder and bowel problems there could be significant savings. Presenting data (as in the example below) to commissioners may well support a greater focus on preventative care. Think about how you could use your own local data to influence service change.
Secondary care data is taken from the English Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) database produced by NHS Digital, the new trading name for the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) Copyright © 2018, the Health and Social Care Information Centre. Re-used with the permission of the Health and Social Care Information Centre. All rights reserved.