HUNDREDS of assault victims were treated by doctors and nurses in East Lancashire's hospitals over the last year, latest figures show.

Analysis of NHS figures shows doctors at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust saw 515 patients who had been admitted to hospital after being assaulted in 2019-20 - on average more than one a day.

The figures – which are rounded to the nearest five – count each period a patient spends under one consultant's care, so someone could be captured more than once.

Across England, 28,905 assault admissions were recorded, with 29,483 episodes of consultant care between them.

Local breakdowns on the type of assault are not available, but nationally assault by bodily force was the most common cause of admission, accounting for 16,852 hospital stays.

This was followed by knife and sharp object attacks (4,674) and assaults with a blunt object (2,115).

Patrick Green, CEO of anti-knife charity the Ben Kinsella Trust, said it was a relief to see a drop in knife-related injuries, after admissions fell from 5,069 in 2018-19.

But with admissions still the third highest for a decade, he said there is still a 'long way to go before we can start to think that we are turning the tide on knife crime'.

He added: "No child is born carrying a knife. It is a learned behaviour. We have to do more to educate young people about the dangers of knife crime to help them to make positive choices, and not end up in hospital wards or police cells."

Charity Stand Against Violence however said the figures show knives are not as much of a problem as fists, despite "relentless emphasis and media storms" on knife crime.

CEO Adam Fouracre said: "We need to ensure our efforts to tackle violence focus on tackling violence holistically and not honing in on weapons."

Alcohol use, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights, is a major contributor to societal violence, he added.

The figures also reveal different types of assault suffered by male and female patients – the second most common reason for women and girls to be under a consultant's care was assaults involving physical and sexual abuse, mental cruelty or torture.

There were 1,012 such cases nationally in 2019-20, accounting for one in six female assault victims, and an increase of 31% compared to 2015-16.

Cases of sexual assault among women and girls meanwhile increased by 89%, climbing from 116 to 219 cases across England.

Dr Charles Thomson, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“Dealing with injuries caused by violence and assaults undoubtedly contributes to the pressures faced by our staff each day.

“ELHT continues to work closely with partner organisations in any way we can to help reduce these types of attendances and support victims.”