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.
Data shows that Wakefield has high rates of hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries. In 2014/15, 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.
Source: Public Health Outcomes Framework
The high rates in 2014/15 reflect the same picture as in 2013/14 and 2012/13. Due to this high rate of admissions for children with injuries, an in depth piece of work to investigate potential explanations was completed 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 should be reflected in 2014/15 data, when it is anticipated that the admission rates for Wakefield will be significantly reduced.
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.
Preventing injuries in the under 5
Unintentional injuries: prevention strategies for under 15s