Drop in visits to A&E at Bassetlaw Hospital trust

Fewer patients visited casualty at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Trust last month – but attendances were higher than over the same period last year, figures reveal.
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NHS England figures show 16,332 patients visited A&E at DBTH in August – the trust runs Worksop’s Bassetlaw Hospital, Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Mexborough’s Montagu Hospital.

That was a drop of 5 per cent on the 17,245 visits recorded during July, but 1 per cent more than the 16,114 patients seen in August 2022.

The figures show attendances were below the levels seen two years ago – in August 2021, there were 16,478 visits to A&E departments run by DBTH.

Bassetlaw Hospital in Worksop.Bassetlaw Hospital in Worksop.
Bassetlaw Hospital in Worksop.

Most attendances last month were via major A&E departments – those with full resuscitation equipment and 24-hour consultant-led care – while 21 per cent were via minor injury units.

NHS England said the data showed A&Es faced their busiest summer ever with more than 6.5 million attendances in A&Es across June, July and August, more than 20,000 higher than the previous record in 2019.

Across England, A&E departments received 2.1m visits last month, down slightly from July, but up from the number of visits seen in August 2022.

Some 28,859 people had to wait more than 12 hours in A&E departments in England in August from a decision to admit to actually being admitted, up 21 per cent from 23,934 in July.

The figure hit a record 54,573 in December 2022.

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Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at the health think tank The King's Fund, said: “The performance stats show there was no summer reprieve for under-pressure health services and they come at a time when the NHS is in the spotlight for poor performance and culture.

“There continue to be real issues with how long patients are waiting for care in key services, including in A&E where 73 per cent of patients are being seen within four hours, which is below the government’s 76 per cent recovery target and well below the 95 per cent NHS standard patients are entitled to.”

It comes as the Government announced a £200m “winter resilience” fund, aiming to keep the system running smoothly during the busy winter months.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Winter is the most challenging time for the health service, which is why we’ve been planning for it all year – with huge government investment to fund new ambulances, beds and virtual wards. This extra £200m will bolster the health service during its busiest period, while protecting elective care so we can keep cutting waiting lists.”

Mr Anandaciva said the fund is welcome, but added there must be a focus on bolstering capacity in community and primary care setting alongside social care reform.

At DBTH in August:

  • 68 per cent of arrivals were seen within four hours, against an NHS recovery target of 76 per cent;

  • 1,140 patients waited longer than four hours for treatment following a decision to admit – 7 per cent of all arrivals. Of those, 85 were delayed by more than 12 hours.