FEWER patients visited A&E at Northumbria Healthcare last month – but attendances were higher than over the same period last year, figures reveal.

NHS England figures show 16,694 patients visited A&E at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in December.

That was a drop of 3 per cent on the 17,182 visits recorded during November, but 29 per cent more than the 12,975 patients seen in December 2020.

The figures show attendances were below the levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic – in December 2019, there were 18,552 visits to A&E at Northumbria Healthcare.

Last month, 91 per cent of arrivals were seen within four hours, against an NHS target of 95 per cent.

The majority of attendances in December were via major A&E departments – those with full resuscitation equipment and 24-hour consultant-led care – while 49 per cent were via minor injury units.

Separate NHS Digital Data reveals that in November the median time to treatment was 48 minutes, and around 3 per cent of patients left before being treated.

Across England, A&E departments received 1.9 million visits last month.

That was a decrease of 8 per cent compared to November, but 27 per cent more than the 1.5 million seen during December 2020.