There is increasing concern that the 140 Accident & Emergency units will be unable to cope with the growing demand for their services. A major review by NHS England has concluded that the whole service needs to be reorganised in a number of ways.
First, it is proposed that up to 70 A & E units would be redesignated as ‘major emergency centres’, specialising in strokes, heart attacks and major trauma. This has already been trialled in London for stroke victims, where patients are treated in 8 specialist centres, resulting in an estimated 400 lives a year being saved. The remaining A & E units would continue to provide a full range of services.
Second, attempts should be made to reduce the number of patients attending A & E by modifying provision of other medical services. This includes more treatment by paramedics at home, improving the 111 telephone advice line, and extending GP practice opening hours.
Source: BBC News