New A&E Attendance Stats Released
The statistics show that 60 per cent of all A&E cases were discharged, while another 21 per cent were admitted into hospital. HSCIC also found that just 24 per cent arrived via ambulance or helicopter, with the majority of patients making their own way there. A diagnosis was given to 63 per cent of A&E visitors, the most common of which were dislocations, fractures and other joint injuries.
The results have sparked some debate over the coalition's changes; Labour argues that the '81 per cent increase in elderly people visiting A&E is attributable to cuts in the health system', meaning that older people do not have access to the same care. However, other health ministers have stated that these rising figured 'date back to Labour years, and in fact the rapidly ageing population may also be a partial cause'.
The HSCIC data also took hospital waiting times, allowing for a more detailed analysis of the UK's A&E centres. The most impressive hospital was the Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust, which saw 99.9 per cent of patients within two hours. In comparison, the lowest-performing A&E was at Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Trust, which only saw 75.2 per cent of patients within four hours.
When to go to A&E
A&E centres across the UK are notoriously busy places within the healthcare industry, and statistics suggest that one in five people may not even need to be there. The service is for people experiencing serious or life-threatening conditions which require emergency care - often a call to the NHS helpline on 111 will get you a faster reply and advice on whether or not you need to visit your GP or a hospital.
You should visit A&E or call an ambulance if you are losing blood, blacking out, having difficulty breathing or experiencing persistent chest pains. If your injury is not serious, the NHS also has minor injury units and walk-in centres.