NHS Scotland Ear Nose & Throat Activity

Ear, Nose & Throat Inpatient Spells – Post-Covid-19 Activity

Scottish hospital inpatient spells for Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) were downloaded from the NHS Scotland website and counts for specialties grouped and analysed (see below for details). During the pandemic activity levels fell dramatically as the NHS focussed its efforts on dealing with the influx of severely ill patients affected by Covid-19. For ENT the average number of spells in the period prior to Covid-19 i.e. from 2017 Q4 to 2020 Q1 was 62,466. During 2022 Q2 onwards, in the post-Covid-19 period, inpatient activity quickly increased but has failed by the end of 2022 to return to pre-Covid-19 levels. The average post-Covid-19 activity for ENT was 34,030 meaning there is on average a quarterly deficit 28,436. The total cumulative deficit of inpatient spells for the specialty ENT at the end of 2022 was 312,796.

The average ENT activity post-Covid-19 lags the pre-Covid-19 activity. Thus the total backlog in treatments and diagnoses (312,796) is not receding and will continue to grow during 2023. It is difficult to see how the deficit will be brought down without a significant increase in resources and funding. Even when activity reaches pre-Covid-19 levels, at that stage it will only maintain the backlog at the same level meaning treatment being delayed for everyone. Throughput above the levels achieved pre-Covid-19 are be necessary if the backlog in patients is to be reduced and waiting times reduced.

Spells as a surrogate marker represent one of the best measures of total hospital inpatient activity. Comparison of inpatient spells’ activity for the pre Covid-19, during and post Covid-19 periods provides a unique way of determining what is happening in the NHS. It is influenced by issues such as the cessation of normal in hospital diagnoses and treatment during the Covid-19 pandemic and a reduction of patients consulting their GP during post Covid-19 the pandemic and who have yet to re-enter the system for inpatient treatment and diagnosis. The cumulative deficit of spells is a measure of inpatient activity that has been lost since 2020 Q1 and as a result patients waiting significantly longer for treatment and diagnosis.

Inpatients Quarterly Activity Ear, Nose & Throat



Inpatients Cumulative Backlog Ear, Nose & Throat



Methods and Sources
Methods are described in the summary page where the total inpatient spells activity is described
See methods on summary page.

The raw data was downloaded from the Scottish NHS Public Health website
public health Scotland hospital activity

NHS Scotland Ear Nose & Throat Activity

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