Five-Year Audit of Children Admitted to Hospital Under the Care of Paediatricians in the North East of England

Eugen-Matthias Strehle*, Caroline Elizabeth Harker
North Tyneside General Hospital, North Shields NE29 8NH, UK.

© 2012 Strehle and Elizabeth Harker

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the North Tyneside General Hospital, North Shields NE29 8NH, UK; Tel: 0191 2031200; Fax: 0191 2932520; E-mail:



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.


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 computer software.


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.


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 contributory factor.

Keywords: Audit, children, hospital admission, infectious diseases, length of stay, non-attendance rate, outpatients, paediatrics.