THE new NHS figures also reveal that assaults accounted for 4400 emergency admissions to hospital last year.

Blade attacks made up a fifth (21%) of the admissions in 2011-12, down 30% since 2006-07. Assaults accounted for 72 deaths in 2011, of which 51 were the result of attacks by a sharp object. This marks a 15% drop from five years previously.

Unintentional injuries were responsible for 54,427 emergency admissions last year, accounting for one in seven child admissions and one in 10 for adults.

Of the admissions due to unintentional injuries, around 60% were the result of falls. Some 49% of them were aged under 15, with most being fractures and head injuries. Children in the most deprived areas were most likely to be in hospital for an unintentional injury.

Meanwhile, the number of nursing and midwifery staff increased. The headcount on December 31 was 65,610, up 0.4% compared with 65,380 on September 30. Full-time equivalent nursing and midwifery staff stood at 56,608.5 on December 31, up 0.6% from 56,263.5 in September.

The total number of staff in post across the NHS increased 0.5%, from 131,845.2 in September to 132,541.5 in December.