Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has significantly reduced hospital attendances due to violent crime by sharing A&E data with police, fire and ambulance services

When a patient is admitted to Arrowe Park Hospital with an injury caused by violent assault, a staff member records the details of the assault through a series of automated questions on the trust’s Cerner FirstNet A&E management system.

The data is sent electronically to Liverpool John Moores University, which collates similar information from local police, fire and ambulance services.

The information is then shared with police and local authority. This helps to identify local crime hotspots, highlight at risk groups and evaluate intervention efforts.

Chris Oliver, associate director of operations for acute care at Wirral, told EHI the system had significantly reduced the number of hospital admissions due to violent crime.

“The automated system makes it simple and quick to capture the data. We’ve seen a 30% reduction in alcohol related assaults in A&E and it has reduced about 1500 admissions related to violent crime a year,” he said.

The system captures details about the nature, location and number of people involved in the assault, as well as details on alcohol consumption.

“It helps the council and the police to know what areas to tackle. For our department and staff, it reduces demand on the services and in a busy A&E, it enables us to focus on other conditions,” explained Oliver.

“It’s very rewarding for our staff to see the reduction in people coming into the department. It’s a win-win."

The trust launched the programme in 2002, together with the Trauma and Injury Intelligence Group at Liverpool John Moores University, after seeing something similar working well in South Wales.

“That’s where we got the idea from. The data is easy to input and from there it enables to work with police,” said Oliver.

“All trusts should be doing this.”

In 2010 the government pledged to ensure hospitals shared data with local police forces to help map and tackle violent crime.