Emergency hospital visits in Wigan rise to buck national trend

Wigan’s A&E units saw a rise in the number of people attending last month, bucking the national trend during the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday, 13th April 2020, 8:24 am
Updated Monday, 13th April 2020, 8:28 am

A total of 1.53m attendances in England were recorded in March, a 29 per cent drop on the 2.17m attendances in March 2019.

The number was the lowest for any calendar month since current records began in August 2010.

NHS England, which published the figures, said the fall was “likely to be a result of the Covid-19 response” – an indication that people were staying away from A&E departments because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Ambulances outside Wigan Infirmary's A&E department

But the data showed a slight increase in the number of people attending Wigan Infirmary’s A&E department and Leigh Walk-In Centre, which are run by Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.

They had a total of 8,684 attendances last month, rising by 4.2 per cent from 8,333 attendances in March last year.

While there was a drop in the number of people going to A&E – from 7,521 to 5,634 – there was a rise in those seeking help at the walk-in centre, from 812 to 3,050.

Despite more people going to the A&E departments, the data shows an improvement in the proportion of patients seen within four hours.

The trust saw 85.9 per cent of people within the target time, rising from 80.5 per cent in February and 78.5 per cent in March 2019. It was also above the national performance of 84.2 per cent.

At Wigan Infirmary’s A&E unit alone, 78.5 per cent of patients were admitted, transferred or discharged in four hours, up from 68.4 per cent in February and 76.2 per cent in March 2019.

Nearly all patients – 99.6 per cent – at Leigh walk-in centre were seen on time.

Nationally, emergency admissions to A&E departments showed a sharp fall in March compared to the same month last year, down 23 per cent from 555,457 to 427,921.

This was mirrored in Wigan, where there was a 24.5 per cent drop from 2,898 to 2,187.

Within the trust, a total of 381 patients had to wait more than four hours for a bed, after medical staff decided they should be admitted, and eight had to wait more than 12 hours.

A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.

Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.

As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.

We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE:

You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at [email protected] or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.