Health chiefs tackle 'frequent flyers' clogging up East Lancs emergency departments

First published in Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

HOSPITAL chiefs said they have introduced several measures to stop ‘frequent flyers’ clogging up emergency and urgent care wards.

On Thursday, the Lancashire Telegraph revealed how two patients had visited East Lancashire’s hospitals more than 100 times each last year.

There were five patients who sought emergency or urgent care more than 50 times each in 2012/13, with 224 people seeking care on more than 10 occasions.

Dr Charles Thomson, clinical director of the emergency department and urgent care centres at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Many of these frequent attenders have significant health needs such as drug, alcohol and/or mental health problems or chronic conditions and can be better supported and treated away from hospital.

“The trust and CCG commissioners have put measures in place to deal with this. The Hospital Alcohol Liaison Team was set up in July to work with alcohol users who attend either the urgent care centres or emergency department.

“There is also the intention to have a police liaison role within the emergency department to identify, manage and support attenders and ensure they are referred in to the appropriate services.

“Additionally, the trust’s information team share data on frequent attenders with that patient’s GP practice who then are able to get in contact and offer the appropriate support.”

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