Rise in visits to Wigan's casualty departments

More patients visited Wigan’s casualty departments last month – but attendances were lower than over the same period last year, figures reveal.
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NHS England figures show 13,013 patients needed emergency care at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) in May – 7,388 at Wigan Infirmary’s A&E unit and 5,625 at Leigh Walk-In Centre.

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That was a rise of eight per cent on the 12,100 visits during April, but eight per cent lower than the 14,114 patients seen in May 2022.

Wigan Infirmary's A&E unitWigan Infirmary's A&E unit
Wigan Infirmary's A&E unit
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A total of 70.7 per cent of arrivals were seen within four hours, against an NHS target of 95 per cent, which was up from 68.3 per cent in April.

Only 49 per cent were seen in that time at Wigan’s A&E unit.

Across England, A&E departments received 2.2 million visits last month – up 10 per cent compared to April and similar to the number of visits in May 2022.

The majority of attendances last month were via major A&E departments – those with full resuscitation equipment and 24-hour consultant-led care – while 43 per cent were via minor injury units.

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The number of people waiting more than 12 hours in A&E departments from a decision to admit to actually being admitted stood at 31,494 in May, up 17 per cent from 26,899 in April. However, it was down 42 per cent from a record 54,573 in December 2022.

In Wigan, 1,367 patients waited longer than four hours for treatment following a decision to admit – 11 per cent of all arrivals. Of those, 270 were delayed by more than 12 hours.

Prof Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said staff were continuing to deliver improvements despite the NHS continuing to see high levels of demand across urgent and emergency care.

Saoirse Mallorie, senior analyst at The King’s Fund, said it seemed the national NHS workforce plan is stuck in a loop of being repeatedly promised and then postponed, while patients and staff "continue to pay the price".

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She added: "It’s crucial that health leaders are provided with the workforce plan they need, including the details of funding to underpin it.

"The plan itself will be a real test of how seriously the Government is taking its commitments to grow the NHS workforce and improve care."