MORE patients visited A&E at the Royal Berkshire Trust last month, with demand rising above the levels seen over the same period last year.

NHS England figures show 13,647 patients visited A&E at Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust in May.

That was a rise of 9% on the 12,514 visits recorded during April, and 70% more than the 8,010 patients seen in May 2020.

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The figures show attendances were above the levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic – in May 2019, there were 12,476 visits to A&E at the Royal Berkshire Trust.

The majority of attendances last month were via major A&E departments – those with full resuscitation equipment and 24-hour consultant-led care.

Meanwhile, around 14% were via consultant-led departments with single specialties, such as eye conditions or dental problems.

Across England, A&E departments received 2.1 million visits last month.

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That was an increase of 11% compared to April, and 65% more than the 1.3 million seen during May 2020 – a reflection of lower-than-usual numbers for that month as more people avoided hospitals during the early days of the pandemic.

At Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust:

In May:

  • There were 485 booked appointments, up from 469 in April
  • 86% of arrivals were seen within four hours, against an NHS target of 95%
  • 125 patients waited longer than four hours for treatment following a decision to admit

A spokesperson for Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust said: “Patients who think they need A&E should first contact NHS 11 who will be able to help you get the most appropriate service for you. People with life-threatening illnesses or injuries should still continue to dial 999, but if you’re not sure if you need to visit A&E then think 111 first.”