This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Rise in emergency hospital admissions over Christmas

Emergency admissions rose over the Christmas period compared with last year, in a development NHS England bosses identified as a ‘significant concern’.

Figures published by NHS England today reveal that there were 3,266 more emergency admissions from the 16 to the 29 December, compared with the same period last year.

But the number of A&E attendances for the same period were down on the same period in 2012 - 780,597 people compared to 823,295.

And the percentage of patients treated, admitted or discharged within the four-hour standard remained above the 95% target - 95.5% and 96.4% in the first and second weeks respectively - whereas last year this dropped to 94.3% in the week before Christmas.

Dr Barbara Hakin, the deputy chief executive for NHS England said the rise in emergency admissions was the area of ‘most significant concern’.

She said: ‘Rising emergency admissions continue to be the most significant concern. This Christmas they were higher than last Christmas, in line with the emerging trend which has seen a 31% rise in the number of people needing emergency admission to hospital over the last ten years.’

But she added that in the main she was ‘pleased to report the NHS delivered an excellent service over the Christmas and New Year period.’

In November last year the Government pumped £150m into hospitals to be used to help support A&E departments to manage winter pressures.

Readers' comments (4)

  • So, more admissions despite fewer attendances and "above target" percentage treated/admitted/discharged within 4 hours compared with last year - join the dots

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The weather is far better predictor of emergency admissions and Ae attendances then anything else.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • So the evidence from Barbara hakuin herself is that extra funding to the tune of £150m over two weeks delivers an 'excellent service' this would mean that an extra £3.9b should make an acceptable A&E service all year round?
    She must be equally pleased that primary care was extremely successful at keeping patients outof A&E and giving them significant credit even though the hospitals seem to be admitting many many more?
    NHS England will no doubt come to the logical conclusion that primary care in England is excellent and that this is a symptom of failing social care and secondary care revenue maximisation?
    Maybe putting GPs in charge of hospitals should be the way forward, as they seem to be the most successful in managing the system for the benefit of the health service and taxpayers?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I am getting just a little tired of the continual primary care bashing that seems to be the normal rhetoric of mrs Haskins and her NHS England buddies. They didn't do a whole lot better when they were in charge. At least we are trying to make a difference with less money than they had available to make their mess , whilst still holding down a full time clinical role as well as a commissioning one. Because there is no money to pay another person to do one job each. The previous set up managed to mess it up whilst only doing one job each. In hindsight I really believe that commissioning was given to GPs because the people employed to do it originally had got into such a pickle that they needed a willing but unwary sacrifice to take the public blame, and as usual primary care stood up to be counted and now we are the whipping boys. My memory hasn't faded as badly as my enthusiasm has. We didn't create this mess we inherited it. A change of name to NHS England doesn't fool most of us. So before the primary care system falls over because no one in their right mind would want to come into a job that means you are pilloried from all side to score political points, give us a break and let us get on with looking after our patients and their families please.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say