NHS medical director Prof Sir Bruce Keogh‘s review of accident and emergency services has proposed a two-tier A&E system in England.
The NHS England review recommends the biggest 40 to 70 A&E units – which specialise in heart attacks, strokes, trauma and the treatment of critically ill children – should be called Major Emergency Centres.
The remaining 70 to 100 units should be categorised as Emergency Centres, and would deal with patients who are less seriously ill.
The review also proposes that many patients should be treated at or closer to home, to minimise unnecessary emergency hospital admissions. Better co-ordination is required between GPs, pharmacists and a network of minor injury clinics and walk-in centres, with a view to providing patients with 24/7 access to care outside of hospital. Ambulance crews could treat more patients at the scene. The NHS 111 service should facilitate direct phone access to doctors, nurses and other health professionals.
Triggle, N. (2013). Plan for two-tier A&E as part of radical shake-up. London: BBC Health News, November 13th 2013.
A related BBC News analysis / commentary:
Triggle, N. (2013). The secret is out: not all A&Es are equal. London: BBC Health News, November 13th 2013.
A related NHS Choices commentary:
‘Two-tier A&E’ reforms announced. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, November 13th 2013.
This relates to:
Sir Bruce Keogh proposes new blueprint for urgent and emergency care across England. London: NHS England, November 13th 2013.
The main report follows:
Transforming urgent and emergency care services in England: Urgent and Emergency Care Review End of Phase 1 Report. High quality care for all, now and for future generations. Leeds: NHS England, November 13th 2013.