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How many hospitals in the UK [Updated October 2021]

How many hospitals in the UK [Updated October 2021]

Many people wonder how many hospitals there are in the UK. Some websites state the answer is 168, but this is far from the real picture. The “168” was merely the number of NHS England Trusts in 2010. A trust typically manages many hospitals, therefore the number of hospitals is much larger. The eagle-eyed will also spot that the 168 represented NHS England, and of course the UK isn’t just England. In addition to this, not all private hospitals are managed by NHS Trusts.

The actual number, correct as at October 2021, is that there are 1,229 hospitals in the UK. This number includes the NHS Trust-managed hospitals and the additional private hospitals that are currently in use. Several hospitals have closed since 2019 due to a variety of reasons, such as funding, staffing and the pandemic. Our updated statistics reflect many changes that have occurred over the past two years.


Hospitals in each UK region

We consider each of the different regions populations and hospitals within those postcodes. At present, 71% of all UK hospitals are in England (875 hospitals), with the largest population. Scotland has around 19% of all hospitals at 229 hospitals. Wales has around 7% of all UK hospitals with just 82. Finally, Northern Ireland has around 3% of all hospitals with 40 hospitals.

how many hospitals in the uk


If you’re looking for hospital bed data, read this article.


Hospital numbers per district

In more detail, here’s the full list of hospital numbers per district: Scotland 229, South West 138, London 134, South East 137, North West 113. East of England 90, Wales 82, West Midlands 83, Yorkshire & Humber 84, North East 59, East Midlands 37, and Northern Ireland 40.

When considering the number of patients and hospitals in each region, there’s a huge disparity between regions. For example, England is home to 84% of the UK population, but there’s only 71% of the total number of hospitals. However, there are very large multi-discipline hospitals serving large communities all across England. Whereas there are many more smaller size hospitals, serving communities in the less populated, remote areas of Scotland and Wales.


how many hospitals uk


Total population vs. total hospitals

As England has the largest population, we’ve also dug deeper into the hospital per population ratio for each region in England. The light blue indicates the % of the population this area holds, and the darker blue indicates the % of hospitals that area has. Interestingly, the South West appears to have a smaller percentage of the population, while having a larger percent of the hospitals in that location. Perhaps this is due to more private hospitals, smaller hospitals and other factors.


comparing % of total hospitals vs % of total population in England


The widely-publicised Governmental plans to invest more in NHS infrastructure means that can look forward to benefiting from an additional 20 NHS facilities in England. The £850m package will be used to build new hospital wards, intensive care units as well as new diagnostic hospitals / centres. The actual details of these plans have not yet been publicised. However, this additional investment is likely to assist in tightening the gap between volume of population and number of hospitals.

This article doesn’t comment on number of hospital beds – read this to find out more about bed numbers.


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This data has been collated from the NHS Service Directory and from the private hospital company websites and is accurate as at 27 October 2021. Any omissions or inaccuracies are due to the source data.

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