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How many hospitals in the UK [Updated August 2023]

How many hospitals in the UK [Updated August 2023]

Many people wonder how many hospitals there are in the UK. The answer to this question is not easy to find, as some sources mistake this for the number of NHS Trusts, or miss out private hospitals for example. We took a deep dive into each NHS Trust, and the hospitals inside them, as well as private hospital data and population data.

The actual number of hospitals in the UK, correct as at August 2023, is 1148 hospitals in the UK. This number includes the NHS Trust-managed hospitals and the additional private hospitals that are currently in use. Broken down further, there are 930 NHS hospitals, and 218 private that make up this data.

Several hospitals have closed since our last update in 2021, due to a variety of reasons, such as funding, staffing and the pandemic. It appears that roughly 81 hospitals closed in the past 21 months, 6.6% of total hospitals. 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, 76% of all UK NHS hospitals are in England (704 hospitals), with the largest population. Scotland has around 11% of all NHS hospitals at 105 hospitals. Wales has around 9% of all UK hospitals with just 84. Finally, Northern Ireland has around 4% of all hospitals with 37 hospitals.


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


NHS Hospital numbers per district

In more detail, here’s the full list of NHS hospital numbers per district: Scotland 105, South West 118, London 84, South East 137, North West 90. East of England 39, Wales 84, West Midlands 62, Yorkshire & Humber 58, North East 47, East Midlands 69, and Northern Ireland 37.

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 76% 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.



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 dark blue indicates the % of the population this area holds, and the lighter blue indicates the % of hospitals that area has.

Interestingly, several areas have larger disparities in population vs. hospitals. The South West has just 11% of the total population, but has 17% of the total hospitals in England. This may be due to having several smaller hospitals, more private hospitals, more funding, or other factors.

Other areas are more close together in terms of data. For example, the North West has 14% of the total population of England, with 13% of the total hospitals. Contrastingly, the East has 12% of the total population, but only 6% of total hospitals. Highlighting a need for more facilities in this area.


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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