FEWER patients visited A&E at the East Suffolk and North Essex Trust last month – but attendances were higher than over the same period last year, figures reveal.

NHS England figures show 21,579 patients visited A&E at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust in December.

That was a drop of 3 per cent on the 22,341 visits recorded during November, but 43 per cent more than the 15,097 patients seen in December 2020.

The figures show attendances were above the levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic – in December 2019, there were 20,951 visits to A&E at the East Suffolk and North Essex Trust.

The majority of attendances last month were via major A&E departments – those with full resuscitation equipment and 24-hour consultant-led care – while 36% 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 per cent more than the 1.5 million seen during December 2020.