A&E units face collapse
Posted: May 30, 2013
Posted in: Medical Negligence
Managers and Doctors worry that the NHS is under threat of collapse if major changes are not made to the way in which their A&E units are run. Both ministers and the NHS regulator have admitted that there are problems in the system that must be addressed urgently.
As rising demand continues to put a strain on the health care system, staffing and funding are becoming crucial issues. There has been a 50% increase in A&E attendances in the last decade, and this winter the NHS in England were failing to reach their four-hour waiting time objective. Similar scenarios to this are being noted throughout the entire UK.
Research has been carried out by the ‘College of Emergency Medicine’, concluding that this challenge is the biggest of the decade. Based on feedback from over half of the UK’s A&E units, there are recognisable shortages of doctors in both middle-grade and senior positions. They suggest that between 15% and 30% of patients attending A&E should in fact be treated in non-emergency facilities.
BBC Health Correspondent, Nick Triggle, suggests that this increased strain is partly due to a limited availability of out-of-hours GP care. As of 2004, GPs were able to decide as to whether or not they would provide night and weekend cover – encouraging people to turn to A&E when their GP’s service was not available. Extensive research suggests that the NHS must make dramatic changes to the way in which their A&E units are managed, or face collapse.
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