THE number of ambulance cases being taken to Burnley General Hospital has almost doubled in a year.
Figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, have revealed more than 2,000 people were taken to the hospital’s urgent care centre by paramedics between January 2010 and September this year.
In April bosses at North-West Ambulance Service NHS Trust announced up to 40% more ambulances would return to Burnley – three years after all “blue light” emergency services were moved to the Royal Blackburn Hospital.
The statistics, from the Trust, show substantially more “less serious” ambulance patients were taken to Burnley General Hospital from April this year. The figure peaked in July with 182 cases recorded.
In September last year 80 ambulance cases were taken to Burnley but last month the figure rose to 146.
During the 21-month period 2,039 ambulance cases were treated at Burnley during that period, the majority of which were falls, along with 248 cases where injuries or illness were not specified.
The next highest number of cases taken to Burnley by ambulance involved pregnant women, followed by those with specific traumatic injuries and victims of assault or sexual assault.
In contrast, most patients taken by ambulance to the Royal Blackburn Hospital during the same 21-month period were suffering from chest pain, breathing problems, or an unspecified condition, closely followed by falls.
Ambulance bosses said, since April, crews have been using a triage tool called Paramedic Pathfinder which determines whether patients should be taken to an emergency department or urgent care centre. Prior to that, ambulance patients were taken to the nearest emergency department.