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Patient makes 50 visits to Cumberland Infirmary A&E in year

More than 80 patients made over 10 visits each to accident and emergency departments in north Cumbria last year, new figures reveal.

Cumberland Infirmary photo
The Cumberland Infirmary

Official figures show that 55 people visited the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle more than 10 times during 2012/13 while 27 were recorded at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

The 82 in total is one up on the 2011/12 figure of 81 patients and the 73 repeat attendees who were recorded by the two hospitals in 2010/11.

Data released by the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust as part of a national survey also shows that there was one patient who made more than 50 separate visits to the A&E unit at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle during 2012/13.

The number of people recorded as repeatedly attending the two north Cumbrian A&E units is very small – 0.1 per cent – of the number of patients who were seen in total over the 12-month period. During 2012/13 75,385 patients visited A&E at either the Carlisle hospital or its sister site in Whitehaven.

A recent BBC investigation revealed that nearly 12,000 people made more than 10 visits to the same unit in 2012/13. Data from 183 sites, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, also showed that a small number – just over 150 – attended more than 50 times in a year.

The figures were published as concerns grow about the increasing pressures on A&E departments and amid calls for GP surgeries to have longer opening hours.

The North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust did not comment on its figures but released a statement from NHS England which says the data collected from trusts across the country should be seen in context. In England there were more than 21 million visits to A&E units last year.

A spokeswoman for NHS England said: “The figures presented here suggest that the number of people attending A&E frequently is relatively small when considered against the big picture.”

But she added: “It is also important that patients and the public know about and use the full range of health services in their local area. The NHS works hard to ensure people know where to go to get the best care and can use services appropriately.”

Have your say

I think people need to use their local pharmacy more, and realise what the term 'minor symptoms' means....

Posted by Oh really on 23 January 2014 at 10:03

I think the government need to take a step back n perhaps encourage more general practitioners to take charge and make appointments more available! My own particular surgery at the moment are only booking appointments one week ahead from the day of the initial phone call! So who can blame people for going to a@e when there are no appointments available. Get a grip conservative instead of concerntrating on collecting bedroom tax how about looking towards the welfare n well-being of british citizens!

Posted by kevin evans on 18 January 2014 at 15:56

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