NHS on hand this bank holiday as DIY injuries increase

DIY enthusiasts have been urged to take care this Easter as NHS figures show hundreds of admissions to hospital after an accident with a power tool.

There were almost 4,800 admissions to hospital wards for injuries from drills and other power tools in just 12 months, according to the latest figures, as the NHS continues to deliver more ways of getting care through its Long Term Plan.

The most recent count is up from 4,446 just three years earlier – a rise of more than 7% – as people have been inspired by TV programmes such as DIY SOS, Grand Designs and 60 Minute Makeover.

The NHS dealt with another 6,372 cases after people ending up in hospital after tumbling from a ladder, while hundreds fell foul of their lawnmower, with more than 500 hospital admissions following a mishap with a mower.

Dr Cliff Mann, NHS national clinical adviser for A&E urged people tempted to try their hand at DIY over the bank holiday to be careful – and stressed that for those with minor injuries for any condition or accident there are plenty of alternatives to accident and emergency.

Dr Mann said: “While there are plenty of ways to come a cropper with your DIY, fortunately there are also plenty of places to get help from the NHS this bank holiday.

“Urgent treatment centres can provide convenient access to care for anyone who needs it, while tens of thousands more appointments will be available in GP practices over the long weekend than last Easter, while High Street pharmacists can also offer expert help as part of our Long Term Plan for the NHS.

“If you are unsure where to turn advice is available online and over the phone from the NHS 111 service.

“The recently published NHS Long Term Plan for the health service also set out improvements to emergency care, building on recent progress which has seen an extra 1,600 lives saved thanks to enhanced trauma services.”

Separate figures on patients seen by hospital consultants show that men are more likely to have a DIY disaster than women.

In the 12 months to March there were 7,400 occasions when men had to get care from a consultant after being injured by a lawnmower or tool, compared with fewer than 1,200 women.

Over the same time frame, consultants had to help men 5,000 times after they fell from a ladder, four times higher than the 1,260 cases of women getting care.

The Easter period is always busy for A&E and patients with less severe illnesses or injuries can benefit from the increased range of services now available, with advice from NHS 111 and high street pharmacies and over 100 Urgent Treatment Centres, while GP surgeries in every part of the country are now offering evening and weekend appointments, as well as video consultations being rolled out as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

The statistics, published by NHS Digital show finished hospital admissions episodes and include injuries sustained both in the home and the workplace.