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Busiest time at A&E in Warrington Hospital is Monday 11am
MONDAY morning at 11am is the busiest time to visit Warrington Hospital’s A&E department, new statistics have revealed.
The figures published by the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre found seven times more people headed to the department mid-morning compared to 5am.
The second highest attendance time was at 9am with 6,902 people heading through hospital doors at the same time GP surgeries across the town open.
More than 100,000 attended the Lovely Lane hospital’s A&E between April 2011 and March 2012 with the busiest day being Mondays as 16,189 patients attending after the weekend, at least 1,584 more people than any other day of the week.
The figures found more men than women headed to the town’s emergency department and numbers gradually declined through the week to 13,562 on Saturdays before an increase on Sundays to 14,605.
The figures in Warrington follow a similar national picture leading to experts questioning whether it highlighted the system was ‘not working at its best’.
The Warrington Guardian asked bosses at Warrington Hospital and Warrington CCG, which looks after the town’s health budget, whether access to GPs was partly to blame for spikes in figures when surgeries were open?
A Warrington Hospital spokesman said: “Attendances at Accident and Emergency are on the up and last year we saw these go above 100,000 for the first time.
“It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for this increase, but what we do know is that we are seeing an aging population and more patients with complex needs.
“It would appear (regarding the busiest time being Monday 11am) people tend to try and manage over the weekend and then on Monday decide to get treated, or their condition has worsened.
“We are still seeing patients that come with conditions that could be better managed by their GP or in the community but still use A&E as a one stop shop for all their health needs.
“It is important to remind people that A&E and 999 calls are for critical or life threatening situations.”
Dr Neil Fisher, Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group’s clinical lead for urgent care, said: “Warrington CCG actively encourages people to choose well by self-caring, seeing a local pharmacist, using their own GP or out-of-hours service and only using A&E or 999 as a last resort.
“Demand on healthcare is increasing in Warrington and is putting a strain on all services.
“Access to GPs has always been a hot topic and surgeries have tried different ways to resolve this, including improved telephone services, telephone assessment, and emergency appointments. We are currently looking at ways of improving and developing a unified brand for general practice across Warrington and access will be part of this.
“People will always attend A&E, some will have tried to get a GP appointment, some will not, and others will think that A&E is the best place for them.
“Since early December, when someone attends A&E they are assessed as to whether they have a genuine accident or emergency or a general practice problem and referred back to general practice accordingly. This is starting to have an impact on activity and thus a positive improvement on efficiency.
“These figures show an increase in A&E attendance on Mondays, which could be influenced by a number of factors. We would remind people feeling ill over the weekend that there is a 24-hour, seven days a week general practice service in Warrington – through normal GP surgeries and out-of-hours – so there is no need to attend A&E unless you are critically ill.
“The CCG, with its partners at Warrington Borough Council, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust and Warrington Hospital, is aware of the Warrington population’s health needs and many projects are underway to address how healthcare is provided and delivered in the future to put the patient first and to deliver efficient, safe care at the right time to the right person in the right place.”