Number of visits to Hartlepool and Stockton hospitals on the increase

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HOSPITAL admission rates for patients in Hartlepool and Stockton have seen the highest increases in the region.

There was 93,832 admissions within the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust area, which covers Hartlepool and East Durham, between April 2013 and March 2014 compared with the previous year’s 88,340.

We have seen an unusually high number of patients being brought into hospital with complex illnesses, such as respiratory problems, who have needed to be admitted onto a hospital ward.

Julie Gillon, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

The 6.2 per cent hike is the second highest in the region, according to figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

However, trust bosses say the reason behind the increase is simply down to the volume of people becoming poorly.

Julie Gillon, the trust’s chief operating officer and deputy chief executive, said: “We know that demands on our services have increased significantly during this time.

“We have escalation plans in place for when demand increases.

“We have seen an unusually high number of patients being brought into hospital with complex illnesses, such as respiratory problems, who have needed to be admitted onto a hospital ward.

“We are working closely with our partners in other parts of the health service and in social care.

“It’s very important that the whole system works together to ensure patients are treated appropriately and discharged safely.”

The visits which are classed as a ‘finished admission episodes’ are the first period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider.

Admissions do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.

The trust’s admission rates work out as 328.3 per 100,000 of the population.

This is the second lowest rate in the region, with Northumberland’s 322 per 100,000 being the lowest and South Tyneside’s 400 per 100,000 being the highest.