The number of patients going to accident and emergency at Northampton General Hospital has risen by more than 20 per cent in three years, according to latest figures.
It comes as NGH revealed that July was the busiest month in its A&E department’s history, with 9,882 people coming through its doors, an average of more than 300 per day.
Past records show yearly attendance figures have been rising at a rate of almost seven per cent a year, meaning an increase of 21 per cent since 2010.
A&E bosses have said the problem is compounded by people deciding to visit hospital when it is convenient for them, meaning a huge glut of patients at once. But they admit that does not explain the huge overall numbers.
Experts in urgent care say the reasons are most likely a combination of factors, including an ageing population.
Patients also consistently claim they have difficulty getting a GP appointment or seeing an out-of-hours doctor.
Brian Binley, MP for Northampton South, said he believed an additional strain was being placed on the urgent care system by non-UK nationals.
He said: “I have no doubt that we have too many young people from foreign countries who do not register with a GP.
“They then end up having to go to A&E instead of being seen at a surgery.
“Young people play more sport, get into the occasional fight and have babies so a large increase in that section of the population would produce the effects we’re seeing at accident and emergency,” he added.
The summer period has been particularly busy, with the months from April to July 2013 seeing almost 11 per cent more A&E patients than the same months in 2012.
A spokesman for NGH said hospital bosses now expected A&E attendances this financial year to be “well over” 100,000 people.