The chart above shows the trend in the average daily number of day-only beds available in hospitals in England between 1987/88 and 2014/15. Since 2010/11, data have been available for the average number of occupied beds, in addition to available beds.
The number of day-only beds has risen as more procedures are carried out as day cases and no longer require an overnight stay.
In 2014/15 an average of 12,573 beds were available each day in NHS hospitals in England. Of these, an average of 86 per cent were occupied.
NHS England collects quarterly information on all NHS organisations that operate beds, ordinary or day case (the KH03 collection). The collection provides the total number of available bed days and the total number of occupied bed days by consultant main specialty and sector (general and acute, mental illness, learning disability and maternity). Prior to 2010/11 the KH03 was an annual return collecting beds by ward classification. Since the data are collected as a snapshot census, the data presented in this analysis after this time point show quarter 4 of each financial year to represent the full financial year. Data were accurate at the time of analysis (July 2015).