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

NHS England figures show 9,098 patients visited A&E at Great Western Hospital in December.

That was a drop of 6 per cent on the 9,630 visits recorded during November, but 28 per cent more than the 7,134 patients seen in December 2020.

The figures show attendances were below the levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic – in December 2019, there were 11,773 visits to A&E at Great Western Hospitals.

The majority of attendances last month were via major A&E departments – those with full resuscitation equipment and 24-hour consultant-led care – while 42 per cent were via minor injury units.

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% more than the 1.5 million seen during December 2020.

There were 487 booked appointments at GWH, down from 530 in November, while 74 per cent of arrivals were seen within four hours, against an NHS target of 95 per cent.

A total of 501 patients waited longer than four hours for treatment following a decision to admit.

Of those, 39 were delayed by more than 12 hours.