Revealed: children treated for stab wounds at Portsmouth hospital

At least four people aged 10-19 have been admitted with stab wounds to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham in five years
At least four people aged 10-19 have been admitted with stab wounds to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham in five years
Jay Goodall

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CHILDREN and teenagers have been treated for stab wounds at QA Hospital, an investigation has found.

At least four people aged 10-19 have been admitted with stab wounds to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham in five years.

There was at least one for each year apart from 2015-16, when there were no child stabbing-related admissions.

Data obtained by The News and Johnston Press Investigations shows there were more than 50 admissions for stab wounds at A&E overall.

NHS figures show stabbings treated at QA have reduced from 14 in 2012-13 to eight in 2016-17.

The figures were uncovered by The News as part of an investigation with the i newspaper into knife crime in schools.

The only other data available for QA shows six people aged 20-29 were admitted with such wounds in 2014-15.

Nationally, Johnston Press Investigations found there had been 3,000 admissions to English hospitals for under 19s for ‘assault with a sharp object’ since 2012.

At least 55 of those were children aged under 10, according to the shocking figures which include provisional data for 2017.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Lib Dem opposition leader at Portsmouth City Council said: ‘We’re very different here than in London, where there appears to be and has been for quite a while a really serious problem with knife crime.’

He added: ‘In Portsmouth, 10 a year is still too many but it’s way less than London.

‘We should never be complacent but there are lots of things in this city police should be doing.’

But he said young people are at risk from the ‘significant problem of people from London’ coming to sell drugs in the city.

He said: ‘They use people who are vulnerable as the people to do the legwork, people who are routinely beaten up and generally abused.’

Mr Martin Griffiths, consultant trauma surgeon and the lead for trauma surgery at Barts Health NHS Trust, the largest NHS trust in England, said the admissions figures are ‘depressingly familiar’.

He told our sister paper i: ‘We used to think of people with knife wounds as being in their late teens or early 20s, but now its 16-year-olds with multiple stab wounds.

‘We’re seeing daily admissions – under 12s and under 10s are not unusual, down to two-years-olds with significant injuries.

‘Children are being injured around school time.

‘There is a massive spike around 3pm to 5pm every day.

‘They are close to home but on their way back from school.’