FURY AT THE A&E ADDICTS
They dash there 10 times a year
TENS of thousands of patients visit A&E more than 10 times a year, putting a huge strain on the NHS.
Some people cannot stop going to casualty departments, with 10 making a massive 2,000 visits between them alone, new research shows.
Healthcare analysis company Dr Foster found that 31,492 people visited A&E in England 10 or more times between June 2017 and May last year.
“High intensity users” attended emergency departments 522,312 times, working out at a staggering average of 16 visits a year.
Dr Foster’s analysis found that 0.4% of all NHS patients made up 4% of all A&E attendances, hitting a significant allocation of NHS resources compared to everyone else.
The report claims patients who went more than 20 times a year in 2016 cost the NHS £53million.
It accused the High-Intensity Users of putting extra pressure on the NHS and forcing a huge rise in the cost of services.
The report added: “As well as generating high healthcare costs, HIUs also increase the risk of overcrowding in emergency departments, affecting the safety and care that can be offered to other patients.
“This relatively small proportion of patients can, therefore, have a significant impact on limited NHS resources.
“It presents an opportunity to reduce the strain on emer- gency services. It is also important to understand why high intensity users are visiting A&E so frequently.
“Their needs are potentially not being addressed elsewhere in the system one way or another, whatever the root cause of their visits.”
An NHS England spokesman said High-Intensity Users would soon be helped by a new nationwide programme.
He added: “The NHS long-term plan sets out a range of options for people to get urgent and emergency care outside A&E, including NHS 111 online and seven-day crisis care for mental ill-health.
“This is precisely the sort of supportive and positive action that is improving patient care while reducing pressure on services.
“It will be ramped up through the long-term plan for the NHS.”