NHS statistics revealed at ONE Haverhill meeting were actually tripled

Lois Wreathall NHS
Lois Wreathall NHS

Figures revealing how many people from Haverhill attended A and E in one month were accidentally tripled.

Figures revealing how many people from Haverhill attended A and E in one month were accidentally tripled.

Lois Wreathall, head of practice support for the West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said at the ONE Haverhill public forum last month that 1,530 people from Haverhill visited A and E in July.

She said that of those 131 had ‘absolutely nothing wrong with them’, and that they cost the NHS £25,000 a month.

However, she has since admitted that was reading the figures for a three-month period by mistake – tripling the actual numbers.

“I thought I was quoting from a monthly report we send to all the practices detailing their patients activity, but unfortunately I had picked up a three month report in error,” she said in an e-mail to members of Haverhill Town Council.

“The upshot is that I quoted around 1,530 people to A and E – 131 nothing abnormal detected/advice and guidance only and costing £25,000 a month – but these figures were for three months.

“So one month is approximately 500 people attending and approximately 44 nothing abnormal detected/advice and guidance only and costing approximately £8,300.”

Her e-mail provided some examples of people that had go ne to A and E and had ‘absolutely nothing wrong with them’.

Some people had left A and E before being treated, while others had been discharged to their GP or discharged with no further care required.

At the same public forum, on October 22, Ms Wreathall said that 616 people in Haverhill missed their GP appointment in July.

NHS Suffolk has yet to confirm if those figures were accurate or also for three months.

Responding to oft-cited criticism that it takes ‘up to two weeks’ to see a GP in Haverhill, she said that the NHS is committed to having anyone with ‘an urgent medical need’ seen by ‘a professional’ within 24 hours and by a GP within 48 hours.

“Some people want to see a certain GP at a certain time, and that’s the problem,” she said.

She explained that GPs are contracted to provide care from 8.30am to 6.30pm nationally.

Out of 500 people who attend A and E each month around 44 have their exit diagnosis listed as ‘nothing abnormal detected/advice and guidance only’ – not 1,530 a month as stated before with 131 having no problems.

The original figures given cost NHS Suffolk £25,000 a month, though that is in fact closer to £8,300.

NHS Suffolk spends £90 million a year on the county, and £40 million a year on Haverhill.

The three GP surgeries in Haverhill have 31,609 people registered with them – 17,506 at Clements and Christmas Maltings, 10,264 with Christmas Maltings (Selby) and 3,839 wit Stour View.

Some 175 people in Haverhill are unregistered.

GP surgeries get £85.47 per registered patient.

The cost to the NHS per GP appointment is £54 – even for missed appointments.

In one month in Haverhill 616 people missed their GP appointment.

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (November 22) Echo.