ALMOST half of the patients admitted to Queen Alexandra Hospital from A&E are 65 years old or over.
Of 9,415 people attending, 4,665 – or 49.5 per cent – end up needing a hospital bed in QA.
The figures, given by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, are for between September 30, last year, to January 5, this year.
They show that despite 4,871 babies and young people aged up to 15 attending, only 613 – 12.5 per cent – required a bed.
But in the aged 65 and over category, 6,910 attended, and 4,665 people – 67.5 per cent – were admitted.
Rick Strang, A&E manager at QA, said: ‘Chest infections and respiratory illness is the most common reason why people are admitted – especially during winter.
‘They also have other problems, such as a weak heart, so are more sick and ill than just the problem they come in with.
‘The challenge for us is then to get these patients back out into the community.
‘They become dependent on care, and then our beds become fuller for longer.
‘This makes it difficult for us to admit people, and that’s when you see queues.
‘The challenge is that there needs to be more in the community setting, so if there was more cover at weekends, it would help.
‘I know there is pressure on community help.
‘The Portsmouth area does have a high elderly population.’
Last week The News ran six in-depth articles looking at different NHS services available, during our Under Pressure week.
It looked at A&E, walk-in centres, doctors, NHS 111, pharmacies, budgets and community providers, to see what role each plays.