More patients visited minor injury units at Southern Health Trust last month, with demand rising above the levels seen over the same period last year.

NHS England figures show 2,572 patients visited minor injury units at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust in April.

That was a rise of 5% on the 2,456 visits recorded during March, and 51% more than the 1,705 patients seen in April 2022.

The figures show attendances were above the levels seen two years ago – in April 2021, there were 704 visits to minor injury units run by Southern Health Trust.

Nuffield Trust fellow Jessica Morris said it is positive to see some improvements, which are to be expected after an "incredibly difficult winter period".

"Three quarters of patients left A&E within the four-hour target in April, up from two thirds in December 2022," she added.

"However, in most cases emergency care services are still struggling to meet targets, so given the massive backlog of planned treatment and the knock-on effect that has on other parts of the NHS, we still have a very long way to go."

Across England, A&E departments received 2 million visits last month.

That was a decrease of 6% compared to March, and a similar number as seen during April 2022.

The number of people waiting more than 12 hours in A&E departments across England from a decision to admit to actually being admitted stood at 26,900 in April, down 32% from 39,700 in March. The figure hit a record 54,600 in December 2022.

Tim Gardner, assistant director of policy at the Health Foundation, said patients continue to "pay the price" as services and staff are under intense pressure with one in 13 patients spending more than 12 hours in A&E departments.

"Resolving the current pay disputes should help avoid more short-term disruption, so the recent headway made by the Government and trade unions is welcome," he added.

"However, this will not address the underlying challenges facing the health service and those who work in it. The workforce plan, long promised by the Government to address chronic staff shortages and improve retention, must be published."

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said strides made in emergency care "in the face of incredible pressure" is testimony to the hard work of frontline staff.

She added: "Ambulance response times are the fastest they have been for almost two years while A&E performance has also improved."

At Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust:

In April:

  • 99% of arrivals were seen within four hours, against an NHS target of 95%