THE wintry weather has so far seen 907 people admitted to hospital as a result of trips and falls this month.
Bosses at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust released the figures and said the bulk of patients taken to the accident and emergency department of The University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, and the Minor Injuries Unit at the One Life Centre, in Park Road, were elderly people.
A total of 907 patients – 209 at the One Life Centre and 698 at North Tees – needed treatment for trips and falls due to wet, slippery and blustery weather conditions so far this month.
But this is around a 25 per cent decrease in the figures from December 2012 when a whopping 1,652 people were taken to the medical sites to be cared for.
Today clinical director of accident and emergency Andy Simpson said it is common for more elderly people to be treated for weather-related accidents in the winter months than younger people who are often stronger and steadier on their feet.
He said: “It is common for us to treat patients who have had an injury following a trip or fall.
“During the summer we often treat children and young people who have had accidents during the school holidays, while in the winter months we treat a lot of people who have been injured following a trip or fall on ice.”
He added: “During the winter people need to be careful when moving around outside when ice is on the roads or pavements.”
A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said: “Slips, trips and falls are the most common types of accident in life generally and, thankfully, the consequences of many falls in bad weather, or on snow or ice are simply minor bumps and bruises.
“The consequences of a fall can be more serious for older people.”
He issued a number of tips for more elderly people to help them avoid a trip to acident and emergency, including:
l Wear sturdy footwear with a good grip. You can always change into other footwear when you have reached your destination;
l Take it slowly and allow yourself extra time so you don’t find yourself having to make a last minute dash;
l Ask neighbours or family members to do your shopping in bad weather conditions.