Repeat patients return to Sussex emergency departments every four days

First published in News

A patient was admitted to accident and emergency on 89 occasions in just one year.

This is just one of the number of repeat patients being admitted through the revolving doors of Sussex’s under pressure emergency departments.

Figures obtained by The Argus show repeat patients were admitted to the county’s overstretched accident and emergency wards as frequently as once every four days.

Almost 450 residents were admitted to stretched A&E departments at two of the county’s three hospital trusts at least ten times in a year in a three-year period.

Councils and health bosses said they were introducing new ways of working to try and reduce the need for the county’s most needy residents to be treated in hospitals.

The figures reveal one patient visited the A&E department of Conquest Hospital, in Hastings 89 times between April 2010 and March 2011. A second patient attended St Richards’ Hospital in Chichester on 54 occasions in one year.

Medical staff at Eastbourne District General Hospital treated three different patients on 63, 62 and 56 separate occasions.

The figures also show that the frequency of repeat visits was on the decline with the highest number of visits in 2012/13 for either East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust or Western Sussex NHS Trust hospitals a comparative small 39.

In total for the three years between April 2010 and March 2013 figures from West Sussex NHS Trust show that 112 regular repeat patients attended Worthing Hospital on average more than 16 times a year while 57 patients visited St Richards’ on average 19 times a year.

Conquest Hospital received 163 patients who attended at least ten times a year while in Eastbourne, accident and emergency staff treated 173 patients at least ten times in a year.

A Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust official said: “Unfortunately, due to limitations in our current patient administration system associated with A&E attendance, we are unable to provide definitive data.”

Sarah Wilmer, head of nursing for acute and emergency medicine at East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The numbers of frequent attendees are small relative to the total number of patients attending A&E.

“It is important that patients and the public know about, and use the full range of health services available in their local area rather than just coming to A&E.”

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said new ways of working were being developed such as Proactive Care to keep elderly vulnerable people out of hospital A&E departments and with the NHS and West Sussex County Council working together on mental health, continuing healthcare, and services for children with complex health needs.

He added: “With an increasingly ageing population and resources becoming increasingly stretched it is vital that local authorities and the NHS work more closely together to help to provide care in more appropriate locations.

“However, we recognise that we need to do more and this is what we are doing through a new single shared budget between health and social care called The Better Care Fund.

“This is designed to bring about closer working to deliver better services for the population of West Sussex.”

A Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group spokeswoman said a city campaign called Save A&E For Saving Lives encouraged people to use alternative services wherever appropriate while joint work with the city council will increase through the Better Care Fund.

She added a collaborative of Brighton and Hove GPs was recently awarded £1.8 million from the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund to improve access for patients.

Comments (9)

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10:08am Mon 12 May 14

jessmmx says...

People are forced to go to A&E because it's so hard to get into the doctors, and most can't afford to take time off for their rubbish opening hours!
People are forced to go to A&E because it's so hard to get into the doctors, and most can't afford to take time off for their rubbish opening hours! jessmmx
  • Score: 22

10:09am Mon 12 May 14

jessmmx says...

People are forced to go to A&E because it's so hard to get an appointment at the doctors! Most people can't afford to take time off either for their rubbish opening hours!
People are forced to go to A&E because it's so hard to get an appointment at the doctors! Most people can't afford to take time off either for their rubbish opening hours! jessmmx
  • Score: 7

10:20am Mon 12 May 14

mimseycal says...

From the article: "A Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust official said: “Unfortunately, due to limitations in our current patient administration system associated with A&E attendance, we are unable to provide definitive data.”

Administration at this trust is in a deplorable state. Paperwork lost, appointments not sent or sent out after the fact ... It is a mess ...
From the article: "A Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust official said: “Unfortunately, due to limitations in our current patient administration system associated with A&E attendance, we are unable to provide definitive data.” Administration at this trust is in a deplorable state. Paperwork lost, appointments not sent or sent out after the fact ... It is a mess ... mimseycal
  • Score: 26

1:11pm Mon 12 May 14

Goldenwight says...

It is difficult to be truly objective without knowing WHY these people are constantly going to A+E. I am an epileptic, and if I have a fit while out by myself concerned passers by will usually call an ambulance so that I wind up in A+E. I may well be one of the cases recorded by Worthing Hospital- I can't give any specific figures but I am aware that one day last June the same ambulance crew were called out to me three times (at the same place). But I have only once in the past 20 years attended voluntarily- with a broken bone, and have never sought A+E treatment when there was an alternative.
It is difficult to be truly objective without knowing WHY these people are constantly going to A+E. I am an epileptic, and if I have a fit while out by myself concerned passers by will usually call an ambulance so that I wind up in A+E. I may well be one of the cases recorded by Worthing Hospital- I can't give any specific figures but I am aware that one day last June the same ambulance crew were called out to me three times (at the same place). But I have only once in the past 20 years attended voluntarily- with a broken bone, and have never sought A+E treatment when there was an alternative. Goldenwight
  • Score: 8

1:42pm Mon 12 May 14

Mr chock says...

jessmmx wrote:
People are forced to go to A&E because it's so hard to get into the doctors, and most can't afford to take time off for their rubbish opening hours!
the headline was about one person going 89 times .. i would have thought the best waiting room for this type of mentally " not so sickly in body " hypochondriac would have been the roof top waiting room when they can be left to think about here illness with a cup of tea and a 300 metre drop down to the road "awaiting ambulance's or the other suitable places "beachy head Place P
[quote][p][bold]jessmmx[/bold] wrote: People are forced to go to A&E because it's so hard to get into the doctors, and most can't afford to take time off for their rubbish opening hours![/p][/quote]the headline was about one person going 89 times .. i would have thought the best waiting room for this type of mentally " not so sickly in body " hypochondriac would have been the roof top waiting room when they can be left to think about here illness with a cup of tea and a 300 metre drop down to the road "awaiting ambulance's or the other suitable places "beachy head Place P Mr chock
  • Score: -13

3:57pm Mon 12 May 14

Fairfax Aches says...

Hastings-no surprise there.
Probably some filthy welfare scrounger/drunk doesn't know or care about looking after himself. Why should the taxpayer have to fork out for the irresponsible behaviour of these people?
Hastings-no surprise there. Probably some filthy welfare scrounger/drunk doesn't know or care about looking after himself. Why should the taxpayer have to fork out for the irresponsible behaviour of these people? Fairfax Aches
  • Score: 0

4:23pm Mon 12 May 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

Mr chock wrote:
jessmmx wrote:
People are forced to go to A&E because it's so hard to get into the doctors, and most can't afford to take time off for their rubbish opening hours!
the headline was about one person going 89 times .. i would have thought the best waiting room for this type of mentally " not so sickly in body " hypochondriac would have been the roof top waiting room when they can be left to think about here illness with a cup of tea and a 300 metre drop down to the road "awaiting ambulance's or the other suitable places "beachy head Place P
Let me guess - you vote Conservative? Mental health is an illness but thanks to bloody Thatcher who closed ALL the mental homes we now have "Care in the Community" which basically means you're on your own jack and f--- off. This is the consequence of that.

caMORON is doing the same - he's reduced funding to mental health spending although far more people are being affected by mental health problems now the cons are back in power.
[quote][p][bold]Mr chock[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jessmmx[/bold] wrote: People are forced to go to A&E because it's so hard to get into the doctors, and most can't afford to take time off for their rubbish opening hours![/p][/quote]the headline was about one person going 89 times .. i would have thought the best waiting room for this type of mentally " not so sickly in body " hypochondriac would have been the roof top waiting room when they can be left to think about here illness with a cup of tea and a 300 metre drop down to the road "awaiting ambulance's or the other suitable places "beachy head Place P[/p][/quote]Let me guess - you vote Conservative? Mental health is an illness but thanks to bloody Thatcher who closed ALL the mental homes we now have "Care in the Community" which basically means you're on your own jack and f--- off. This is the consequence of that. caMORON is doing the same - he's reduced funding to mental health spending although far more people are being affected by mental health problems now the cons are back in power. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 2

4:39pm Mon 12 May 14

sussexram40 says...

Hard to comment without knowing the reason for this person's 89 A&E visits.
Not sure what the purpise is of this figure. 89 is an admission nearly every 4 days. I wonder if the patient has a serious underlying condition and is not receiving the support and treament they need.
Hard to comment without knowing the reason for this person's 89 A&E visits. Not sure what the purpise is of this figure. 89 is an admission nearly every 4 days. I wonder if the patient has a serious underlying condition and is not receiving the support and treament they need. sussexram40
  • Score: 7

7:20pm Mon 12 May 14

Roundbill says...

Good grief, I thought for a moment I was getting déjà vu. This story was covered by the BBC back at the start of January:
http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/health-2563411
7

The next day, they deconstructed the statistics to explain why they were meaninglessly unrepresentative.
http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/25641842

Remember when local papers used to employ real journalists, too? Good times, good times.
Good grief, I thought for a moment I was getting déjà vu. This story was covered by the BBC back at the start of January: http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/health-2563411 7 The next day, they deconstructed the statistics to explain why they were meaninglessly unrepresentative. http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/25641842 Remember when local papers used to employ real journalists, too? Good times, good times. Roundbill
  • Score: 6

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