Background: Time spent in hospital (length of stay) is an important component of patient experience and the financial cost of cancer care. This study documents the length of stay across English cancer diagnoses at a national level and reports on variation by patient demographics and tumour characteristics.
Methods: Data on all diagnoses of malignant neoplasms from the English National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service for 252,202 patients first diagnosed in 2015 was linked with NHS Digital's Admitted Patient Care and Outpatient Hospital Episode Statistics datasets to quantify length of stay within one year following diagnosis. Length of stay was modelled using linear regression adjusted for sex, age, tumour type, stage, time spent alive during the study period, vital status at end of study period, region, deprivation and ethnicity.
Results: Patients spend a mean of 25 days (median = 17 days; IQR = 8–34 days) in hospital in their first year. Tumour type, stage, age and vital status corrections had the strongest effects in the model adjusting for other independent variables. Younger patients tended towards longer stays.
Conclusion: Length of stay varies among patients by tumour type, age and stage. Estimating future health service demands should account for changes in incident tumour characteristics.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information: This work was supported by Macmillan Cancer Support and was produced within the Macmillan - PHE partnership. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Open Access: No Open Access licence
Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Citation: Joanna Pethick, Cong Chen, James Charnock, Rachel Bowden, Evangelia Tzala, Inpatient admissions and outpatient appointments in the first year post cancer diagnosis: A population based study from England, Cancer Epidemiology, Volume 74, 2021, 102003, ISSN 1877-7821,
- Length of stay