2,350 A&E visits made by just 10 people in one year

New analysis of hospital data has suggested that frequent A&E visitors put more pressure on the NHS and are unhelpfully contributing to the rise of healthcare costs.

Carried out by healthcare monitoring company Dr Foster, the data revealed that 31,492 people visited A&E in England 10 or more times between June 2017 and May last year. More than 2,350 visits to A&E departments were made by just 10 people in one year.

Furthermore, patients who attended more than 20 times in a year cost the NHS £53 million in 2016, with the research showing that frequent visitors were more likely to live in deprived areas, be aged between 21 to 31 and visit A&E at night. The most common conditions frequent visitors are admitted to hospital for are lung disorders like bronchitis and emphysema.

The report said: “As well as generating high healthcare costs, HIUs (high intensity users) 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 and, as such, presents an opportunity to reduce the strain on emergency services."

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