TWO patients visited A&E in Warrington almost once a week in the past year, according to latest statistics.

Figures revealed by Warrington Hospital have found over 12 months one patient visited the department 59 times while others attended on 50 occasions during the year and another 46 times.

In the last three years 1,334 headed to A&E on 10 or more occasions accounting for 19,930 attendances.

Fourteen people visited the department 50 times or more during the same period while four were sat in A&E 100 times or more between April 2010 and 2013.

The hospital released the figures as part of a national investigation which found a number of hospitals had reported patients visiting 50 times or more in a year and led to fears it was adding to the ‘mounting pressure’ on the system this winter.

A hospital spokesman said the majority of cases frequently attending A&E were as a result of mental health problems or alcohol and drug-related.

He added: “The numbers of patients with more than 50 attendances in a year are very small and there are various reasons to their repeat attendances; often connected to mental ill health, alcohol and drug related incidents or suffering from chronic pain.

“Other regular attenders may have a variety of conditions which need monitoring, or they may have been unable to find alternatives to seeking help from the emergency department.

“The increasing numbers of elderly people with a range of conditions that are serious, if not life-threatening, are providing increased pressures across the service and it is important that all members of the public consider which part of the local system they need to access – GPs, minor injury units, pharmacies – as well as the NHS 111 service.”