THE number of admissions to hospitals for serious dog bites has risen by five per cent in the last year – with most cases recorded in the North West.

NHS Information Centre figures revealed that from May 2010 to April 2011 1,090 people were admitted to hospital as a result of dog bites in the North West.

NHS East Lancashire, covering Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale, recorded 50 cases, the eighth-worst result out of 24 trusts in the region.

However, this was a slight improvement on its figure for the previous year of 50.

Blackburn with Darwen Care Trust Plus had the lowest number of cases, with the number of bites it recorded rising from nine to 13.

Meanwhile, Central Lancashire PCT, which covers areas including Chorley, saw a massive rise from 55 cases to 90.

The figures for NHS East Lancashire include the case of Courtney Bradshaw, the then five-year-old from Accrington who was mauled by a large terrier in June last year.

The attack left the child with serious injuries including tears on her head which went to the bone, a split ear with exposed cartilage and torn skin on her face around her right eye.

In March, Daniel Boardman, 19, of Rishton, needed skin grafts after being attacked while looking after the dogs for a friend.

The NHS report found that dog-related injuries accounted for about half of all the 12,410 national admissions caused by being bitten or struck by various creatures in the 12 months to April 2011. A sixth of those admissions involved children under 10.

Tim Straughan, NHS Information Centre chief executive, said: “Our statistics show that the summer is a seasonal hotspot for admissions to hospital for injuries caused by dogs, coupled with a five per cent rise overall for such admissions between the latest and previous 12 month period.

“However, the same timeframe also saw an increase in admissions for injuries inflicted by other creatures, from bugs and horses to cows and pigs.”