nhs hospitals in the uk, a&e departments, how many hospitals are there in the uk?, highest-ranking hospitals, nhs trusts, ccgs

How many NHS hospitals are there in the UK?

By Lee Emmett

​The NHS is one of the largest employers in the world, and the biggest in Europe – with over 1.3 million staff. On a typical day, there are:

  • Over 835,000 people who visit a GP practice

  • Almost 50,000 people visiting A&E departments

  • 36,000 people in hospital for planned treatment

Read more about NHS patient activity.

The NHS is certainly a rewarding place to work for overseas nurses and doctors, with lots of exciting opportunities to make a real difference to patients’ lives across the UK. But there are many, many different hospitals you could be working for.

Number of NHS hospitals

Correct as of September 2019, there are 1,257 hospitals in the UK. This includes the NHS trust-managed hospitals and the additional private hospitals that are currently in use.

Largest hospital

St George’s Hospital is the largest in the UK, looking after 1.3 million people in southwest London and significant populations in Surrey and Sussex, totaling approximately 3.5 million. It has 1,300 beds and around 8,500 staff, as well as several centres of excellence, such as its stroke care and cardiology unit.

Highest ranking hospitals

To find out how well a hospital is performing, visit the Care Quality Commission website. It’s the independent regulator of health and social care in England, and rates services to provide people with safe and high-quality care.

Number of NHS trusts

An NHS trust is a healthcare provider, set up to deliver hospital and community services, and other aspects of patient care. As of October 2019, there were 223 trusts in the UK. However, this statistic doesn’t correlate to the number of hospitals, as many trusts run more than one hospital, e.g. Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust runs nine.

Number of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). Established in 2012 as part of the coalition government’s reforms, CCGs are responsible for planning most primary, community and hospital care services, including emergency care, in their local areas. The number is constantly changing due to mergers but as of April 2019, there were 191 CCGs in England.

Read more about how the NHS is funded.

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