NEW figures on NHS hospital admissions for injuries caused by mammals - including dog and rat bites - show Wigan to be in the top 10 per cent.
The data reveals that people were treated on 62 occasions due to bites from dogs, rats and other animals including horses, foxes and cats.
The analysis, released today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), covers Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) Admitted Patient Care data from March 2014 to February 2015 inclusive and examines the total number and rate of admissions in England compared to the previous 12 month period.
The NHS Wigan borough figure is the 22nd highest in the country out of the 202 CCGs whose results were published. Wigan’s figure is also relatively high when compared to others per 100,000 with a figure of 19.4 putting them in 29th place.
In 2013, Wigan youngster Jade Anderson was killed after she was attacked by a pack of dogs while at a friend’s house. Since then her parents have campaigned for tougher laws to be imposed and stricter sentences to be handed to owners.
The highest in the country is NHS Oxfordshire which had a staggering 190 admissions; 84 more than the second highest NHS Sheffield.
NHS Liverpool had the highest figure in the North West with 105 admissions, while nine CCGs didn’t show any figures.
The number of people admitted to hospital after being bitten or struck in the year between across the UK was 7,227, up from 4,110 in the corresponding period 10 years ago.
The most commonly affected age group was children aged under nine, with 1,159 admitted to hospital, according to the HSCIC’s latest Hospital Episode Statistics release.
The increase in admission rates was mirrored by a 76 per cent rise in the admission rate for bites and strikes by other animals over a 10-year period when total hospital admissions rose 25% from 12.6 million to 15.8 million, HSCIC said.
The HSCIC noted: “Throughout this period the proportion of admissions which had any external cause recorded stayed relatively stable around 8%, so the increase in bite admission rates cannot simply be attributed to an increase in recording external causes.
“Admissions due to dog bites were generally higher in summer months and lower in winter, though there was a minor peak in December 2013. This pattern is not as pronounced for admissions due to other mammal bites.”