ADMISSIONS to hospital on the day of patients' surgery in Gwent has increased significantly during the past two years, new figures reveal.

At the start of 2010, just under half of admissions were made on the day of surgery in the area's hospitals, but by the middle of 2012 the rate had risen to almost four in every five (78 per cent).

Maximising DOSA (day of surgery admission) rates is a priority for health bosses as it potentially reduces lengths of stay in hospital for patients, and eases pressure on beds.

The Aneurin Bevan Health Board DOSA rate was below the Welsh average early in 2010, but is now comfortably above it.

New day surgery facilities at Abergavenny's Nevill Hall Hospital, which have increased the day surgery capacity in Gwent, is a factor in the DOSA rate improvement.

A new focus is on avoiding late starts to operating sessions, so more day surgery procedures can be carried out.

But the health board is looking at other ways of improving DOSA rates, to try to get near the rate of just over 90 per cent recorded by a peer group of hospitals in other parts of the UK last year.