Time spent in hospital by the elderly in the final year of life as a health care indicator: inter-district comparisons.
Henderson J., Evans JG., Goldacre MJ.
We have studied the amount of time spent in hospital by elderly people in their final year of life in 1976, 1981 and 1986 in six districts covered by the Oxford record linkage study to determine the extent of differences between districts. There was consistent but insubstantial variation between the districts. Variation declined over time, suggesting that the use of hospital care for the elderly may, in this respect, be nearing consensus. We conclude that the measure of total time spent in hospital by the elderly in their last year of life was not a powerful discriminator between districts in this region. When record linkage is implemented elsewhere in England, it will be possible to make wider geographical comparisons to determine whether important variations exist elsewhere.