Wide regional variation in hospital admissions for assault

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Wide regional variation in hospital admissions for assault

Overall fall nationally in assault admissions, new figures show

Hospital admissions for assaults vary markedly by region according to new figures for England, which show a 15 per cent fall in assault admissions nationally compared to last year.

According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) some regions had more than double the number of assault admissions of others. For example the North West had 9.9 assault cases per 10,000 of the population compared to 3.5 cases per 10,000 of the population in South Central.

Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) with the highest rate of assault admissions were Tower Hamlets PCT (46.2 per 10,000), Darlington PCT (41.6 per 10,000) and Blackburn with Darwen Teaching Care Trust (40.3 per 10,000).

Today’s provisional figures relate only to assault victims whose injuries were so serious they required an inpatient admission, with the majority arriving via A&E departments.  Today’s report does not include those treated solely in A&E and discharged as information in this area is very limited, although HSCIC is continuing its work with the NHS to improve A&E data.

This report is part of a special topic on assaults presented as part of the monthly provisional Hospital Episode Statistics publication, which covers inpatient, outpatient and A&E activity in England.

It shows that, considering all assault admissions in England from April 2012 to March 2013:

Hospitals admitted 32,980 assault cases, a 15 per cent fall compared to the previous 12 months (38,770).

80.9 per cent of assault admissions arrived via A&E (compared to 81.6 per cent in the previous 12 months). The remaining cases include GP referrals and people being admitted for follow-up treatment4.

Assault by bodily force was the most common form of assault admission (64.7 per cent or 21,350), followed by assault by sharp object (11.6 per cent or 3,830). This is a similar pattern to the previous 12 months, when there were 24,870 bodily force admissions (64.2 per cent) and 4,490 sharp object admissions (11.6 per cent).

Admissions were highest in those aged 20 to 24 years (21.1 per cent of the total or 6,930) and this was seen in the 2011-12 report as well (20.9 per cent or 8,190).

Men accounted for more than four out of five admissions for assault (82.2 per cent) which is similar to last year (82.6 per cent).

HSCIC Chair Kingsley Manning said: “Today’s figures clearly show regional variation in the levels of assault experienced by local populations which result in hospital admissions.

“This information provides crucial evidence for health service commissioners, as well as local councils and police forces, ensuring they can direct resources effectively to the problem.”

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