NHS under pressure: Dozens of patients attend A&E in Doncaster more than 10 times a year

Dozens of patients are attending A&E in Doncaster more than 10 times a year costing the NHS thousands, new figures have shown.Â

By The Newsroom
Monday, 14 January, 2019, 14:37
Ambulances parked outside Doncaster Royal Infirmary's emergency department

An analysis of NHS hospital data by the healthcare analysis company Dr Foster found 206 people visited the emergency department at Doncaster Royal Infirmary 10 or more times between June 2017 and May last year.

The data, broken down per area of South Yorkshire, includes people who were over the age of 11 and attended on a '˜non-planned follow-up' visit. 

Doncaster Royal Infirmary

NHS bosses in Doncaster said they have measures in place to try and reduce this figure. 

Researchers found that about high intensity users are more likely to live in more deprived areas, be aged 21 to 31 and, visit A&E between 8pm and 6pm and the most attended day was a Monday. 

The data also showed most common condition patients are admitted to hospital with is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but also chest and abdominal pain, poisoning by drugs, medications and psychotropic agents and alcohol-related disorders.

National figures show 5,000 high intensity user patients cost the NHS £53 million '“ around £10,600 per person. 

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The report said: "As well as generating high healthcare costs, HIUs also increase the risk of overcrowding in emergency departments, affecting the safety and care that can be offered to other patients.

"This relatively small proportion of patients can, therefore, have a significant impact on limited NHS resources and, as such, presents an opportunity to reduce the strain on emergency services.

"It is also important to understand why high intensity users are visiting A&E so frequently, their needs are potentially not being addressed elsewhere in the system one way or another, whatever the root cause of their visits."

Dr David Crichton, chair of NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "In Doncaster, we know there are a small number of people that regularly attend the emergency department and we work closely with colleagues at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals to address this issue. 

"Together we hold a regular meeting to review attendances within the emergency department and we also come together to discuss the attendance of patients with complex needs, such as those with mental health issues.

"Themes and trends which are raised within these two meetings are fed up to a 'System Resilience Group' on a periodic basis to consider what action is required across Doncaster, ultimatley with the aim to reduce the number of people attending the Emergency Department unnecessarily.

"For children and young people that regularly attend the emergency department, their registered GP is informed of this, which prompts a review of any health conditions and investigation into any other concerns raised."