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Ophthalmology surpasses orthopaedics in annual attendance figures

The latest statistics from NHS Digital reveal that ophthalmology outpatient activity was greater than any other specialty in 2017–2018


Outpatient appointments for eye care were more numerous than any other specialty in 2017–2018, the latest statistics reveal.

Data published by NHS Digital shows there were 7.6 million ophthalmology appointments over the year. Trauma and orthopaedics accounted for 7.5 million hospital visits, followed by physiotherapy with five million attendances.

Diagnostic imaging and obstetrics were the fourth and fifth most common specialties during the period.

The report highlighted that the five most common treatment specialties accounted for 30% of all outpatient attendances.

In the previous year (2016–2017), trauma and orthopaedics had the highest patient load, with 7.8 million visits attributed to the specialty.

In that year, ophthalmology was the second most commonly attended specialty, with 7.6 million hospital visits.

The latest NHS Digital report revealed that outpatient appointments have close to doubled between 2007–2008 and 2017–2018, from 66.6 million to 119.4 million.