Assault victims seen almost four times every week at Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust

Assault victims were treated almost four times every week at the BHRUT last year, new figures show.

Assault victims were treated almost four times every week at the BHRUT last year, new figures show. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Assault victims were treated in hospital almost four times every week at the Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust (BHRUT) last year, new figures show.

Anti-violence charities say it is clear more needs to be done to tackle issues such as knife crime and alcohol-fuelled brawls, after figures revealed English hospitals are tending to thousands of injured victims every year.

Analysis of NHS figures shows doctors at BHRUT saw 205 patients who had been admitted to hospital after being assaulted in 2019-20 – an average of almost four patients every week.

They were among 5,890 assault victims recorded across London.

The figures – which are rounded to the nearest five – count each period a patient spends under one consultant’s care, so someone could be captured more than once.

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Across England, 28,905 assault admissions were recorded, with 29,483 episodes of consultant care between them.

Local breakdowns on the type of assault are not available, but nationally assault by bodily force was the most common cause of admission, accounting for 16,852 hospital stays.

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This was followed by knife and sharp object attacks (4,674) and assaults with a blunt object (2,115).

Patrick Green, CEO of anti-knife charity the Ben Kinsella Trust, said it was a relief to see a drop in knife-related injuries, after admissions fell from 5,069 in 2018-19.

But with admissions still the third highest for a decade, he said there is still a “long way to go before we can start to think that we are turning the tide on knife crime”.

Charity Stand Against Violence however said the figures show knives are not as much of a problem as fists, despite “relentless emphasis and media storms” on knife crime.

CEO Adam Fouracre said: “We need to ensure our efforts to tackle violence focus on tackling violence holistically and not honing in on weapons.”

The figures also reveal different types of assault suffered by male and female patients – the second most common reason for women and girls to be under a consultant’s care was assaults involving physical and sexual abuse, mental cruelty or torture.

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