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Hospital admissions for sickle cell disease in England

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a rising cause of mortality and morbidity in England and consequently an important policy issue for the National Health Service. In an article published recently in the Journal of Public Health, Ghida Aljuburi and colleagues examined SCD admission rates in England using data from the Hospital Episode Statistics database. They reported that the admission rate for SCD per 100 000 people in England has risen from 21.2 in 2001/02 to 33.5 in 2009/10, a rise of over 50%. London accounted for around 75% of all SCD admissions in England. Nearly 60% of patients admitted with SCD were discharged within 24 hours. The authors concluded that because over half of all patients admitted with SCD were discharged within 24 hours, some of these admissions could be prevented through better ambulatory care of patients with sickle cell disease.

In a letter also published in the Journal of Public Health in response to some comments from Radoslav Latinovic and Allison Streetly, Ghida Aljuburi and I discuss how this analysis could be improved: for example, through the use of linked data that would allow examination of the role of re-admissions and the quality of patients' primary care services.


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