Hospital bed numbers drop by more than 10%
The average number of available hospital beds in Northern Ireland has dropped by over 10% in five years, figures have revealed.
Between 2010/11 and 2014/15 the number fell by 691 from 6,725 to 6,034, while t he number of inpatient and day case admissions rose by over 4%.
Throughout 2014/15 there were 606,144 such admissions, 25,153 more than 2010/11.
There has been a slight decrease (0.3%) in the admission rate from last year.
The figures were outlined in new statistics published by the Department of Health.
They also showed that the average length of stay in hospital continues to fall each year. The average was 6.9 days in 2010/11 and is now six days.
In regard to outpatients, 1,501,064 were seen at consultant-led services in NHS hospitals in Northern Ireland.
Patients missed 147,536 hospital appointments in the last 12 months. The did not attend (DNA) rate has fallen from 10.3% in 2010/11 to 8.9%.
Patients cancelled 194,257 appointments during 2014/15. The could not attend (CNA) rate of 11.5% is up slightly on the 11% in 2010/11.
Hospitals cancelled 168,555 appointments during 2014/15, giving a hospital cancellation rate of 10.1%, compared with 9.7% for 2013/14 and 10.9% for 2010/11.