A&E patients are not as stupid as NHS commissioners think.
A review carried out by the College of Emergency Medicine has found that only 15% of over 3,000 patients who attended 12 A&E departments over a 24 hour period could have been treated in the community.
This gives the lie to NHS Commissioners’ view that people attending A&E unnecessarily are putting A&E departments under so much pressure that they often can’t see patients within four hours of admittance.
This view is encapsulated in Dee’s A&E Fail Tale, a propaganda video cartoon intended to deter us from attending A&E unnecessarily. It creates a stupid woman character who goes to A&E because she can’t get off a fake nail and – double whammy- also takes her poorly pet to A&E instead of the vet. It was produced by NHS Arden Commissioning Support, commissioned by three midlands Clinical Commissioning Groups and paid for by us, the public.
So now we know where the Right Place is – A&E!
The findings of the College of Emergency Medicine Review have to raise questions about the Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield Strategic Outline Case proposals to close Calderdale A&E, open 4 minor injuries units across both areas, and send vastly fewer A&E patients than currently attend A&E in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield, to a single A&E Department in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Last winter Dee’s A&E Fail Tale was posted on Twitter by Locala, the “social enterprise” community health company that is one of the authors of the contentious Right Care Right Place Right Time Strategic Outline Case for the shake up of the NHS and social care in Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield.
The BBC news website reports that NHS England has responded to the College of Emergency Medicine’s review by advocating measures to keep patients from unnecessary A&E attendance. These include placing GPs alongside A&E departments, as well as:
“better self-care advice, an enhanced NHS 111 and ambulance services capable of offering skilled treatment at the scene”
NHS 111 is currently being relaunched at the cost of around £30m – another botched NHS privatisation that is costing the public dear.