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A&E figures Reveal Services Need Improving

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Over 30,000 people every month are having to make a second visit to A&E, having being seen and discharged the previous week, statistics have shown.

The Department of Health released figures on Friday which suggested 1 in 13 attendances to A&E are re-attendances, where as guidelines state re-attendances should only account for one in twenty visits.

What’s more, 120 out of 178 trusts did not meet the goal of seeing 95% of attendees within 15 minutes for an initial assessment and almost 50% of trusts failed to treat patients within 60 minutes.

A&E departments have seen an annual rise in attendance of 7% over recent years. In April this year almost 1.5 million people visited A&E, costing the NHS over £100m.

In total, 3.4% of people left the department before being treated. Government officials suggest this is largely down to those with alcohol related injuries who sober up before being seen and make the decision to leave.

National head of emergency and urgent care, Professor Matthew Cooke stated that, “At my trust we have got 10 people who account for 1,000 attendances a year… eight out of 10 of the frequent users have an issue with alcohol, often combined with mental health or social issues.”

He also added, “ Big metropolitan areas have a similar picture as us.”

Within the Barts and London NHS trust, 95% of patients had to wait over 8 hours before they were seen. Furthermore, recent figures suggest that the volume of patients waiting over four hours to be seen has doubled, even though overall attendance figures have dropped.

Katherine Murphy, the chief executive of the patients association, stated that, “we have a long way to go.”

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