Patient visited Sheffield’s A&E 223 times

The Accident & Emergency Dept at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital
The Accident & Emergency Dept at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital

One patient made 223 visits in a year to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital’s A&E department, new figures reveal.

Data released under the Freedom of Information Act shows the patient was one of the worst in the country for repeat visits between April 2012 and March 2013.

In Rotherham 90 patients attended the District General’s A&E department more than 10 times – clocking up 1,529 visits between them. Two were responsible for 132 visits the year before.

Dr David Throssell, Medical Director at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The patient who attended A&E more than 200 times in the last year is an exceptional case and we have been discussing with them alternative ways to meet their needs.

“Each year more than 130,000 people attend our A&E department and of those 0.3 per cent attend more than 50 times a year.

“This can be for a number of reasons which often relate to long-term health conditions. However, people should always fully consider the range of services which are available in the city and should only use the A&E department when treatment is needed urgently.

“A&E rightly gives priority to patients with life threatening injuries and illnesses and emergency cases, and this inevitably means that patients attending with minor injuries or illnesses will wait longer to be seen than those with more urgent problems.”

A Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: “We encourage people to think carefully about where they go to receive care.

“GP practices, NHS 111, local pharmacies and a walk-in centre can often offer a range of useful help, advice and care.”