Nearly 600 visits to Northampton A&E by just 20 patients last year

Northampton General Hospital's 20 most frequent A&E attenders racked up an astonishing 587 visits between them last year.

Saturday, 14th May 2016, 6:30 am
Northampton General Hospital. File picture.

The most frequent visitor to the town’s casualty department was a man aged 18 who visited 52 times - an average of once per week.

There were also a woman aged 22 who clocked up 48 visits, a woman aged 56 who visited 43 times and a 33-year-old woman who visited A&E 37 times.

An NGH spokesman said: “We do have a number of patients who are treated in A&E frequently. It’s very important that we appreciate the distinction between patients attending inappropriately and those attending frequently. There are usually multiple issues at the heart of these individuals’ lives; their overall needs are quite complex and not limited to the health sector. Common themes include homelessness, substance misuse and mental health issues.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“While we can treat their immediate condition or cause of attendance at A&E, we will also alert our clinical commissioning group to cases of repeated attendances so that additional support can be put in place at a community level wherever possible.”

The figures were revealed in the same week it was announced that Northampton General Hospital is to set up a specialist team to help those with chronic conditions who attend A&E more than five times each year.

During the winter, hospitals in Northamptonshire have had to ask people not to go to A&E unless it was a real emergency because of intense pressure on services.

And yesterday it was revealed that, nationally, the NHS has had its busiest year in history with nearly 23m A&E visits in the past 12 months - a rise of more than 500,000 from the previous year.

There were a total of 30,383 to NGH’s A&E department in 2015. And 587 of them were from the top 20 ‘frequent flyers’.

The figures below, for January 2015 to December 2016, were revealed after a Freedom of Information request by this paper have now revealed how many times each of the top 20 most frequent visitors attended the department.

Twenty most frequent visitors to NGH A&E in 2015

1) Male, aged 18, attended 52 times.

2) Female, aged 22, attended 48 times

3) Female, aged 56, attended 43 times

4) Female, aged 33, attended 37 times

=5) Female, aged 26, attended 33 times

=5) Male, aged 41, attended 33 times

7) Male, aged 52, attended 30 times

8) Male, aged 59, attended 29 times

=9) Male, aged 47, attended 25 times

=9) Female, aged 30, attended 25 times

=9) Male, aged 17, attended 25 times

=9) Female, aged 64, attended 25 times

=9) Male, aged 36, attended 25 times

14) Male, aged 50, attended 24 times

15) Male, aged 87, attended 23 times

=16) Female, aged 38, attended 22 times

=16) Female, aged 29, attended 22 times

=18) Male, aged 41, attended 21 times

=18) Male, aged 48, attended 21 times

20) Female, aged 56, attended 21 times