Crohn's Disease (Children)

Health written question – answered on 24th February 2005.

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Photo of Mr Roy Beggs Mr Roy Beggs UUP, East Antrim

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children in England are diagnosed as suffering from Crohn's disease; what treatment provision is available to them; and what the average cost of treatment is per child.

Photo of Stephen Ladyman Stephen Ladyman Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health

Information on the numbers of children diagnosed with Crohn's disease and the average cost of treatment is not available. There were 2,491 admissions involving children and young people up to the age of 18 with a primary diagnosis of Crohn's disease to hospitals in England in 2003–04. Most patients will be treated with drugs, including steroids, to reduce inflammation or by means of special liquid feeds to rest the bowel. Surgery may be required to remove narrowed or damaged parts of the intestine. The cost of treatment will vary according to the severity of the condition and any complications. Examples of costs of selected hospital inpatient elective treatments for people with Crohn's disease are shown in the table.

Primary diagnosis of Crohn's disease: examples of costs and numbers
Healthcare resource group National average cost per elective (£) Number of in-patient finished admission episodes (all ages) Number of in-patient finished admission episodes (0–18 years)
P12—Major gastrointestinal or metabolic disorders 1,815 1,540 1,540
F54—Inflammatory bowel disease—endoscopic or intermediate procedures in people under age 70 without complications 1,068 4,888 392
F06—Diagnostic procedures; oesophagus and stomach 605 362 151
F56—Inflammatory bowel disease in people under age 70 without complications 1,079 7,126 99
F32—Large intestine—very major procedures 4,587 789 74


1. A finished admission episode is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Please note that admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.

2. The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 14 (seven prior to 2002–03) diagnosis fields in the hospital episode statistics (HES) data set and provides the main reason why the patient was in hospital.

3. The main operation is the first recorded operation in the HES data set and is usually the most resource intensive procedure performed during the episode. It is appropriate to use main operation when looking at admission details, e.g., time waited, but the figures for "all operations count of episodes" give a more complete count of episodes with an operation.

4. Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).

5. Healthcare resource groups (HRGs)—it should be noted that there may be many OPCS/ICD codes that map to a single HRG (a category into which similar treatments are grouped) and these are the national average costs at HRG level—they are not the costs of the individual codes within the HRG, so the actual costs of such OPCS codes, etc. may differ from those detailed.


Finished admission episodes: HES, Department of Health.

National average costs: Reference Costs 2003 [relating to the financial year 2002–03] for activity undertaken by national health service trusts in England, for NHS patients.

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