East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust avoids 'unprecedented summer surge' in A&E attendances

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has avoided a surge in A&E attendances, which has hit other trusts across England during July's heatwave.

Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 3:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 3:53 pm
East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has avoided a surge in summer attendances, unlike other trusts across the region.

And figures show the number of people attending A and E has actually dropped.

Nationally, record numbers of people flooded to emergency departments in July, with respiratory problems, dehydration and other illnesses associated with the hot weather.

There were almost 2.2 million attendances, 100,000 more people than in July 2017, which NHS England said was an "unprecedented summer surge."

Last month 16,369 patients visited the trust's emergency departments, 1,123 fewer than July 2017.

The numbers used are for total attendances, which includes walk-in centres and minor injury units

An NHS England spokesman said: "As temperatures soared, the NHS saw an unprecedented summer surge last month with a record 2.2 million patients attending A&E, and, thanks to the hard work of staff, nine in 10 people were seen, treated and admitted or discharged within four hours."

At East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust 82.5% of people were seen, treated and admitted or discharged the four hour target period.

That's better than July 2017 when 78.6% were dealt with in four hours.

Hospitals are supposed to admit or discharge 95% of patients within the target time. Three years ago 94.8% were seen within four hours.

Health bosses said the record breaking heatwave was similar to pressures faced by the NHS during winter.

Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: "What is of particular concern now, however, is that the summer months are traditionally the time acute hospitals and frontline staff have to recharge the batteries - this year we have had no respite and draining conditions.

"Last year NHS leaders admitted it took until October to recover from winter 2017 and we are now only a few months away from the next onslaught."

Donna Kinnair, Director of Nursing Policy and Practice at the Royal College of Nursing, said it was "vital" Health Secretary Matt Hancock uses some of the extra £20 billion promised to the NHS to alleviate the worsening staff shortages that are crippling our healthcare services.