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Sunday, 05 July 2015

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Shock rise in multiple A&E visits by patients at Barrow hospital

THE number of patients attending Furness General Hospital accident and emergency department at least 10 times in a year increased by more than 40 per cent in 2013.

UNDER PRESSURE Furness General Hospital’s A&E department has seen a 41 per cent increase in patients admitted more than 10 times. Inset, Geoff Jolliffe, lead GP for NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group Furness

Figures show 24 people attended more than 10 times in 2012, but that rose to 34 in the last year – a 41 per cent increase.

Paul Grout, clinical director for emergency medicine at the trust said: “We have a relatively small number of patients who attended the emergency department on more than ten occasions, and while we always urge patients to use the service appropriately, some of these patients have conditions that needed the care we provide.

“If the occasion arose where the attendance was not appropriate we would refer the patient to an alternative provider, such as the GP out of hours service, their GP, or a pharmacist.”

Overall attendance across the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which includes FGH, was 102,806 last year.

As many as 97 people across the trust visited more than 10 times and six people more than 50.

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock suggested the rise could be a reflection on patients not being able to secure an appointment with GPs.

He said: “We know our A&E services are increasingly stretched, so it is important people do seek medical attention at the most appropriate place.

“There is obviously some personal responsibility to use A&E wisely, but local NHS providers and the government also need to make sure that alternative sources of medical care are widely available, including speeding up the painfully slow process of getting GP surgeries open at evenings and weekends.

Dr Geoff Jolliffe, lead GP for NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group Furness, said: “Currently 90 per cent of all patient contact is with doctors working in general practice and it is really important patients who do need to see a doctor when they need help are able to do so.

“However, there are patients who do not need to see a GP or do not need urgent healthcare and they can be managed differently, including over the phone consultations, or they can be seen by practice nurses or pharmacists. GP’s surgeries would then have more capacity to deal with those patients with real need.

“We recognise that to open later and at weekends is a popular request from the public and politicians, but to achieve better capacity to be able to deliver this is easier said than done.”

Have your say

The triage system just isn't working in many areas,if you want to see your own GP
you may have to wait many weeks for an appointment,rather than seeing a stranger.
Though a Doctor,as in many cases,medication is altered that doesn't suit,because they don't know your problems personally.
From personnal experience recently my wife had to sit in the waiting room for over an hour after a booked appointment while immigrants took priority.
Perhaps you get a better service from A&E
and many patients are feeling like second
class citizens in the country of Birth at least you will be seen in A&E.
The flood gates have opened,and it will only get worse,because every thing is free.
Bed blocking in hospitals with extra capacity needing ops,spiriling birth rates,
giving the health service extra millions to care for,and this is just the start of the big influx of immigration.
Doctors can only work for a certain length
of time before they crack and become ill,and they will need to seek medical help.
Too much pressure on all the NHS services.
The rat race is taking over our lives,and the dependency on the NHS is getting stronger by the day,as more and more people are living longer and needs are greater.

Posted by dicky on 11 January 2014 at 18:20

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