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The workload of plastic surgery is often poorly understood by the public and those responsible for financing health care. The authors have used linked statistical data to analyse demographic and epidemiological profiles of workload in plastic surgery in Oxfordshire. The analyses were constructed for residents of the district and for patients treated from other districts. The former provides a profile of workload generated for plastic surgery from a geographically-defined population. The latter complements this by adding information about 'imported' workload. Admission rates for plastic surgery were higher for children and elderly people than for other age groups; higher for males than females; and they increased during the 11 years of the study. Most of the increase represented an increase in people treated by the service, rather than an increase in readmissions, although there was a modest increase in the latter too. Lengths of stay per admission and total time spent in hospital per person declined considerably. The bulk of the workload in plastic surgery is concerned with the treatment of trauma (including burns), cancer and congenital malformations. The main clinical conditions treated by the specialty are documented distinguishing, for each condition, the extent to which the patients came from outside the authority in which the provider unit is cited.

Original publication




Journal article


Health services management research

Publication Date





55 - 60


Unit of Health Care Epidemiology, University of Oxford, UK.


Humans, Disease, Length of Stay, Medical Record Linkage, Surgery, Plastic, Demography, Adolescent, Adult, Child, Workload, England, Female, Male