A new report from NHS Digital has found that adult critical care admissions to English hospitals have increased by 22% since 2011-12.

The report details the volume of inpatient, day case, and adult critical care activity in England, based on hospital episode statistics and reveals the scale of the increase in hospital activity in England over the past decade.

The data show that the number of finished consultant episodes, or times people were admitted to hospital, was 20.8 million for 2018-19; an increase of 3.6% from the previous year and 27.9% from ten years ago.

The number of finished admission episodes also rose 3% from last year, coming in at 17.1 million in 2018-2019, again a steep increase of 21% from a decade ago.

Fortunately, adult critical care cases were in slight decline over the year, with 291,679 cases reported – a 0.1% decrease on last year.

NHS Digital also reminded that the episodes do not count for individual people or patients, as the same person could be admitted on multiple occasions or seen by multiple consultants.

Nevertheless, the BMJ said the figures should be a “huge wake-up call", as they highlight the surge in demand on services.