This briefing presents the response of Carers UK to the inquiry into emergency care. It asserts that family carers play an important daily role in the prevention of critical healthcare needs and thereby in preventing the avoidable hospital admissions which place strains on emergency services. Involving carers in the hospital discharge planning process can similarly help to reduce preventable emergency re-admissions to hospital. It is important that carers receive suitable support from community and primary care services.
Emergency services and emergency care inquiry: Carers UK’s response. London: Carers UK, May 2013.
There is a further submission to the Health Select Committee Inquiry from the King’s Fund.
Evidence submission: Health Select Committee Inquiry: emergency services and emergency care. London: The King’s Fund, May 2013.
The latest King’s Fund quarterly report on state of health and social care (for the final quarter of 2012/13) indicates that nearly 6% of patients waited four hours or longer in A&E departments. This represents an increase of more than a third on the previous three months; and nearly a 40% increase on numbers from the same quarter in 2011/12.
Growing pressures on hospitals are reflected in a survey of NHS finance directors, with the majority expecting the NHS will fail to meet the Nicholson challenge to deliver £20 billion in productivity improvements by 2015.
How is the health and social care system performing? Quarterly monitoring report: June 2013. London: The King’s Fund, June 2013.
The “Emergency care and emergency services 2013” report from the Foundation Trust Network (FTN) presents results from a survey of members on the frontline of urgent and emergency care services. Six out of ten trusts expect the coming winter to be worse than 2012-13 and seven out of ten trusts believe the A&E system has reached a “tipping point”.
Most trusts (62%) cite rising demand as an important factor, while 42% point to failures of primary and social care services. There is thought to be a need for fundamental re-design of the emergency care pathway, with appropriate investment in primary, community and social care services, and better signposting to these services for patients.
Emergency care and emergency services 2013: view from the frontline. London: The Foundation Trust Network (FTN), June 2013.
[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 9, August 2013].
Khangura, J.K. Flodgren, G. Perera, R. [et al]. (2012). Primary care professionals providing non-urgent care in hospital emergency departments. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Online). November 14th 2012; Issue 11: No. CD002097.