22 May 2014
Most patients 'right to go to A&E'
Efforts to redirect patients away from busy A&E departments will not work, doctors have said - as a new study shows most need to be seen there.
The College of Emergency Medicine review of more than 3,000 patients found only 15% could have been treated in the community.
Last year NHS England suggested 25% could - and used that to justify a major shake-up of A&E units.
The difference amounts to 1.4m patients, the college said.
The college is not opposed to NHS England's proposed creation of a two-tier system involving major and minor units.
But it said the expectation that large numbers of visits to A&E could be saved was likely to be wrong, and it was important to take other steps to relieve pressures.
One of these includes locating GPs in or alongside A&E units to filter out the less urgent cases - something which is already happening in a number of hospitals.
The review, carried out by consultancy Candesic, looked at what was happening in 12 A&E units over a 24-hour period in March.
It found 85% of patients needed to be seen in A&E - although 22% could have been dealt with by a GP on site if there had been one...
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-27512613