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Adolescent inpatient activity 1999–2010: analysis of English Hospital Episode Statistics data
  1. Dougal S Hargreaves1,2,
  2. Russell M Viner1
  1. 1Department of General & Adolescent Paediatrics, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK
  2. 2Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Dougal S Hargreaves, Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA; dougal.hargreaves{at}


Objective To investigate patterns and trends of adolescent (10–19 years) inpatient activity in England by sex, disease category, and admitting speciality.

Data 9 632 844 Finished Consultant Episodes (FCEs) from English patients aged 1–19 between 1999/2000 and 2010/2011 (Hospital Episode Statistics data).

Analyses Age trends by sex and major International Classification of Disease 10 (ICD10) chapter; differences in activity rates by age and sex; inpatient activity trends over the past decade, disaggregated by sex, admitting speciality and ICD10 chapter.

Results Adolescent female patients account for more activity than girls aged 1–9 (139.4 vs 107.2 FCEs/1000). Female inpatient activity increases significantly between age 10 (70.9 FCEs/1000) and 19 (281.7 FCES/1000, of which non-obstetric care accounts for 155.9 FCEs/1000). Male activity increases much less during adolescence, with lower overall rates among adolescents than younger children (93.7 vs 142.9 FCEs/1000). Between 1999 and 2010, total adolescent inpatient activity increased faster among adolescents (10–19 years) (+14.2%) than younger children (1–9 years) (+11.0%). Adolescent FCEs/1000 increased by 12.8%, including higher rates admitted under Paediatrics (+47.5%) and Paediatric Surgery (+23.2%). Adolescents were admitted across a range of specialities.

Conclusions These data challenge the belief that adolescents are a healthy group who rarely use inpatient services. In England, use of inpatient services is higher among female patients aged 10–19 years than those aged 1–9 years, while adolescent activity has increased faster than for younger children over the past 11 years. Improving service quality for adolescents will require engagement of the many different teams that care for them.

  • Adolescent Health
  • Health services research

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