Dog Bite Hospital Admissions ‘Most Common In Deprived Areas’

Such Injuries Most Common In Merseyside


New figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre have revealed that hospital admissions for dog bites are significantly higher in more deprived areas of England.

The statistics found that 6,740 admissions to hospitals across 2013 related to dog bite injuries, which marked a six per cent on figures from the previous 12 months.

However, the research notably identified that such admissions are around three times as high in deprived areas than in less deprived locations. Merseyside, Durham and Darlington and Tees were found to have the highest rates.

It also found that such incidents were more common in the summer months, with young children most likely to fall victim to such attacks.

Kingsley Manning, chair of the HSCIC, said the findings provided “fascinating new data” on the issue.

He added: “We know that dog bite rates are particularly high among young children. As we head towards the summer months, when admission rates for dog bites are at their highest, these trends may be worth further study by healthcare organisations and public sector bodies.”

Katrina Elsey, a legal specialist at Irwin Mitchell who represents dog attack victims, said: “These figures highlight the true impact that dog attacks have on so many people every year, demonstrating the scale of the problem and why steps need to be taken to ensure the public are protected from such incidents.

“It seems like barely a week goes by when such attacks are not in the news and our work means we have seen first-hand the significant physical and psychological injuries which victims suffer in such incidents.

“New legislation is expected to come into force in the coming weeks to close a loophole preventing action in relation to attacks on private property, but we have repeatedly called for further steps to be taken to improve safety standards.

“We would particularly urge the Government to consider the introduction of compulsory licensing and insurance for owners, which would ensure any victims of attacks would get justice in relation to any injuries they suffer.”