Using Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (HIPE) data (Department of Health and Social Security and Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, 1974), the relationship between mortality and bed usage was examined for a number of disease categories within 10 chapters of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) (World Health Organisation, 1967). There was found to be significant correlation within six chapters for males and within six chapters for females. The use of standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) in the formula of the Resource Allocation Working Party (RAWP) (Department of Health and Social Security, 1976) for certain chapters where no correlation could be demonstrated is questioned. It is suggested that separate SMRs for urinary disease and genital disease should be used and that the SMRs for Chapter XVII (accidents, poisoning, and violence) should either be omitted from the formula or determined separately for subdivisions of the chapter.
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