More than 600 visits to Kettering A&E by just 20 patients last year

A&E
A&E

Kettering General Hospital’s 20 most frequent A&E attenders racked up an astonishing 608 visits between them last year.

The most frequent visitor to the town’s casualty department was a man aged 53 who visited 47 times - nearly once per week.

There were also a man aged 25 who clocked up 45 visits, a man aged 45 who visited 40 times and a 59-year-old mann who visited A&E 39 times.

Kettering General Hospital’s Chief Operating Officer, Rebecca Brown, said: “There is an issue of frequent use of A&E by a relatively small number of patients.

“Frequent attenders may include people with drug, alcohol and mental health or social problems. But they can also include people who have chronic health problems that need A&E support – such as patients who have asthma attacks, diabetes or other chronic medical conditions.

“Our duty is to treat the patient’s condition, keep them safe, and encourage them to access appropriate support services for their problems.

“As a partner in the wider health community Kettering General Hospital is working with our partners in mental health, addiction, GPs and other support services to address these issues in a joined up way.

“Overall though frequent attenders are a very small proportion of the 80,000 patients we see each year. Hence it would be wrong to say that they are a major cause of peaks in demand of A&E use.

“A&E is a precious resource and should be used wisely. I would like to remind the public that A&E should be used for real emergencies that cannot be dealt with appropriately by other NHS services such as pharmacists, GPs, or the Corby Urgent Care Centre.”

The figures were revealed in the same week it was announced that a specialist team is to be set up in the county 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 on Thursday 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 79,437 to KGH’s A&E department in 2015. And 608 of them were from the top 20 ‘frequent flyers’.

The hospital opened an extension to its A&E department this month to cope with an increase in demand.

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 KGH A&E in 2015

1) Male, aged 53, 47 visits

2) Male, aged 25, 45 visits

3) Male, aged 45, 40 visits

4) Male, aged 59, 39 visits

5) Male, aged 41, 37 visits

6) Female, aged 22, 35 visits

7) Male, aged 61, 32 visits

8) Female, aged 32, 32 visits

9) Female, aged 41, 29 visits

10) Female, aged 26, 28 visits

11) Female, aged 60, 28 visits

12) Female, aged 22, 27 visits

13) Female, aged 20, 25 visits

14) Male, aged 42, 24 visits

15) Male, aged 50, 24 visits

16) Male, aged 67, 24 visits

17) Female, aged 59, 24 visits

18) Female, aged 45, 23 visits

19) Male, aged 52, 23 visits

20) Male, aged 42, 23 visits