Record-breaking numbers of patients attended St Helier and Epsom hospitals last year.

More than 839,000 patients were treated by Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust across its sites between April 2013 and March 2014 - an increase of 4 per cent compared to the previous year.

It is the largest number the trust has dealt with in its history and includes 142,817 visits to A&E and almost 5,000 babies being brought into the world - 3,015 of them at St Helier.

The record breaking figures have been achieved against a backdrop of threats to the hospitals' services - including AA&E and maternity - from Government cuts and the now-defunct Better Service Better Value (BSBV) consultation.

Trust chief executive Chrisha Alagaratnam said: "It is a great source of pride for us to know that so many local people consider us to be a trusted and important establishment in the community that they can rely on. 

"We anticipate that the number of visitors across all our hospitals will continue to grow over the next financial year, and we encourage people to continue to use the services of our dedicated staff and volunteer workforce.

"Whilst we feel that these numbers demonstrate the capacity of our sites and the aptitude of our staff, it is important to add that there is much more to our activities than number-crunching. 

"Each and every one of our patients is an individual and we strive to deliver excellent care to all of them."

During the year, 427,262 patients were seen at St Helier, 274,090 went to Epsom, 78,866 were seen at Sutton hospital, 10,578 at Leatherhead Hospital, 16,626 at South West London EOC and 31,649 were seen at other satellite sites.

The figures follow the news that the trust's finances have broken even this year after several years during which it had a deficit.