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Background: The aim of this survey was the evaluation of the case load of one hospital based paediatric team
including inpatients, day care attenders and outpatients over a period of five and a half years. A further objective was the
calculation of the generated income following the introduction of payment by results.
Methods: Data were obtained from the hospital information technology and coding departments. They included age, gender,
ethnicity, home postcode, month of attendance, length of inpatient stay and diagnosis. Analysis was performed using standard
Results: Altogether, 9711 patients were assessed which generated an income of approximately 6 million pound sterling. Ninety
percent of this amount resulted from inpatient work. The majority of patients were of white British origin, and their mean age
was 4.1 years. The length of admission decreased from 1.5 days in 2005 to 0.7 days in 2010. Forty five percent of diagnoses were
infections, mainly respiratory and gastrointestinal; and 55% had a non-infectious cause. The overall ‘did not attend’ rate was
25%. No deaths were recorded.
Conclusion: The reduction of inpatient stay is a national phenomenon which supports the development of children's ambulatory
care units. The reasons for the relatively high non-attendance rate are multi-factorial with family vulnerability being a