Fewer patients visited A&E at Plymouth Hospitals Trust last month – but attendances were higher than over the same period last year, figures reveal.
NHS England figures show 13,523 patients visited A&E at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust in August.
That was a drop of 1% on the 13,671 visits recorded during July, but 9% more than the 12,368 patients seen in August 2022.
The figures show attendances were above the levels seen two years ago – in August 2021, there were 12,221 visits to A&E departments run by Plymouth Hospitals Trust.
Most attendances last month were via major A&E departments – those with full resuscitation equipment and 24-hour consultant-led care – while 32% were via minor injury units.
Meanwhile, around 2% were via consultant-led departments with single specialities, such as eye conditions or dental problems.
NHS England said the data showed A&Es faced their busiest summer ever with more than 6.5 million attendances in A&Es across June, July and August.
It was more than 20,000 higher than the previous record in 2019, the NHS added.
Across England, A&E departments received 2.1 million visits last month – down slightly from July, but up from the number of visits seen in August 2022.
Some 28,859 people had to wait more than 12 hours in A&E departments in England in August from a decision to admit to actually being admitted, up 21% from 23,934 in July.
The figure hit a record 54,573 in December 2022.
Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at the health think tank The King's Fund, said: "Today’s performance stats show there was no summer reprieve for under pressure health services, and they come at a time when the NHS is in the spotlight for poor performance and culture.
"There continue to be real issues with how long patients are waiting for care in key services, including in A&E where 73% of patients are being seen within four hours, which is below the government’s 76% recovery target and well below the 95% NHS standard patients are entitled to."
It comes as the Government announced a £200 million “winter resilience” fund, aiming to keep the system running smoothly during the busy winter months.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: "Winter is the most challenging time for the health service, which is why we’ve been planning for it all year – with huge government investment to fund new ambulances, beds and virtual wards.
"This extra £200 million will bolster the health service during its busiest period, while protecting elective care so we can keep cutting waiting lists."
Mr Anandaciva said the fund is welcome, but added there must be a focus on bolstering capacity in community and primary care setting alongside social care reform.
At University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust:
- 58% of arrivals were seen within four hours, against an NHS recovery target of 76%
- 1,002 patients waited longer than four hours for treatment following a decision to admit – 7% of all arrivals
- Of those, 334 were delayed by more than 12 hours