Child and Adolescent Accidents and Injuries


  • Wakefield has high rates of hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries in children.
  • Wakefield has the highest rate regionally of hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries in 0 to 4 year olds.
  • Rates in 2016/17 showed and increase from those in 2015/16.

The Population

Injuries are a leading cause of hospitalisation and represent a major cause of premature mortality for children and young people. They are also a source of long-term health issues, including mental health problems. They can affect any child aged under 19 in the district. This equates to around 71,000 children in the district.

The Challenges

Data shows that Wakefield has high rates of hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries. In 2016/17, Wakefield had significantly higher rates than the national and regional averages for those aged 0 to 4 years, 0 to 14 years and 15 to 24 years. Wakefield had the highest rate regionally of unintentional and deliberate injuries in 0 to 4 year olds in 2016/17, and has seen a significant rise in the admissions due to this in the most recent period. Although the greatest rise was in the 0 to 4 age group, there was also a significant rise in admissions overall in those aged 0 to 14. There has also been a rise in admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries in 15 to 24 year olds, however the increase is not as large in this age group.

Source: Public Health Outcomes Framework

The high rates in 2016/17 are a significant increase on the rates from 2015/16 and 2014/15. Wakefield saw a fall in admissions in the period 2015/16 following an in depth piece of work to investigate potential explanations for the high rates in 2013/14 and preceding years which was completed in 2014. In 2014, the key issue identified was a coding anomaly in the data. Patients were being treated in a General Surgical Assessment Unit (GSAU) at the hospital, rather than being seen by the specialist team in the Emergency Department. Attendance at the GSAU was being incorrectly coded as an admission by administrative staff, resulting in the high admission rates described above. The identified coding issue, which is believed to account for a high number of admissions, has been addressed through the contracting process. Changes to the coding of attendances to the GSAU are reflected in 2014/15 data, where there was a notable reduction in admission rates for Wakefield. However, further investigation into increase in the rates for 2016/17 is still required.

The main causes of admissions due to accidents and injuries among 0-14 year olds in Wakefield was falls (in the three year period 2012/13-2014/15).

The Inequality

Local Data have shown that the deprivation gradient is reflected in these admission, with young people from the most deprived parts of Wakefield district making up a greater proportion of the admissions. These are shown in the figures below.

Community Assets


Preventing injuries in the under 5

Unintentional injuries: prevention strategies for under 15s