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 2,876 patients visited minor injury units at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust in May.

That was a rise of 12% on the 2,572 visits recorded during April, and 46% more than the 1,974 patients seen in May 2022.

The figures show attendances were above the levels seen two years ago – in May 2021, there were 772 visits to minor injury units run by Southern Health Trust.

Dr Tim Cooksley, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said the latest data shows an NHS that is under "immense strain and struggling" during a continuous crisis.

He added: "Through the enormous efforts of staff and consideration of patients, many still receive good care. However, this should not be used as a smokescreen for the turmoil beneath and it is no long-term solution."

Across England, A&E departments received 2.2 million visits last month – up 10% compared to April, and similar to the number of visits seen in May 2022.

Dr Cooksley added the number of patients waiting more than twelve hours is alarming for this time of the year.

The number of people waiting more than 12 hours in A&E departments from a decision to admit to actually being admitted stood at 31,494 in May, up 17% from 26,899 in April. However, it was down 42% from a record 54,573 in December 2022.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said staff are continuing to deliver improvements despite the NHS continuing to see high levels of demand across urgent and emergency care.

Saoirse Mallorie, senior analyst at The King’s Fund said it seems the national NHS workforce plans is stuck in a loop of being repeatedly promised and then postponed, while patients and staff "continue to pay the price".

She added: "It’s crucial that health leaders are provided with the workforce plan they need, including the details of funding to underpin it.

"The plan itself will be a real test of how seriously the government is taking its commitments to grow the NHS workforce and improve care."

At Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust:

In May:

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