Thousands of people head to Wigan A&E for treatment

Hard-working medical staff in the borough have had another extremely busy month, the latest NHS figures show.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 3:54 pm

NHS statistics showed 9,391 people went to Wigan’s A&E unit last month.

That was just slightly down on the May figure which was the highest which had been recorded since monthly attendances started being collected back in 2015.

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The A&E at Wigan Infirmary

That was even higher than the 4,611 recorded in May, which itself had been the largest total seen at the venue since January 2020.

Demand for medical attention has been high in recent months after attendances plummeted last year during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nationally, the attendance figures at A&Es in June was a 2.4 per cent rise from the same month in 2019 and a huge increase of 53 per cent on the figure recorded this time last year.

Senior figures at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have publicly called for people to stay away from A&E if at all possible due to how busy it is.

The NHS data showed 83.1 per cent of people who turned up at A&E at WWL in June were seen within four hours.

The figure for Wigan’s A&E unit was 74.7 per cent, whereas at the walk-in centre it was 99.9 per cent.

There were also 3,220 emergency admissions to A&E at Wigan Infirmary and 383 emergency admissions via other routes, giving a total of 3,603 emergency admissions.

This is the highest figure since the current record-keeping system was introduced, surpassing the 3,444 emergency admissions in April 2021.

A total of 346 patients had to wait longer than four hours for a bed once the decision to admit them had been made.

And seven people found themselves waiting longer than 12 hours for a bed in June.

Nationally NHS England said the June admissions figure, of 2,159,000, was the highest since the current form of data collection began.

However, attendances at walk-in units were lower than they were in June 2019.

WWL’s June figure for patients being seen within four hours was above the rate of 81.3 per cent recorded across England as a whole.

The standard of 95 per cent of A&E admissions waiting less than four hours was last met in England in July 2015.

WWL’s percentages for patients being seen in four hours or less at both A&E and the walk-in centre were better than the respective rates for England.

Dr Katherine Henderson, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “We have a serious problem in urgent and emergency care. We are deeply concerned. We are facing record breaking figures in the high summer. We can only begin to imagine what this winter may bring.

“We are facing record breaking attendances with a tired workforce and fewer beds; it is seriously challenging. Busy departments are a threat to safety, it increases the chance of crowding and corridor care, this risk is increased if Covid and non-Covid patients share the space for long periods of time.”

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