Fuss about patients going to A & E –
NHS says we should be seeing GP
BUT Patients Association says most patients are ‘right to go to A&E’
saying “New research published by the College of Emergency Medicine (CEM) has revealed that just 15% of attendees at Emergency Departments could have been seen by a GP in the community without the need for Emergency Department assessment”.
In other words, they know better than the Dept. Health, NHS
and Uncle Tom Cobley if we have turned up in A&E “appropriately”.
And according to CEM only 15% of our visits might have been inappropriate.
The possible 15% inappropriate visits doesn’t take into account visits when
- GP surgeries might be closed,
- people getting over-anxious about symptoms
- not being registered with a GP
- multitude of other possible reasons – such as doctor overlooking symptoms
- Or – as is happening in our area, overworked GP’s Receptionists – unable to offer earlier appointments, suggest if we don’t want to wait “go to A&E”.
Quarter cancer cases ‘found’ in A & E
Then we have the horrific, acknowledged, statistic that around 25% of cancers aren’t discovered until someone presents in A & E. So if I were concerned I might have cancer, having read all the horror stories in the press, I would certainly prefer to take my chances with a long wait in A & E – and hope I would be reassured at the end.
Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said,
“For many years patients have been wrongly criticised for abusing A&E departments and wasting NHS resources, but these latest figures show that the majority of these patients are genuinely ill and require urgent medical treatment.
“We cannot ignore these figures. There is an urgent need to look at the provision of NHS care in a joined-up way and ensure that the patient comes first in every decision made. Patients must have access to well-resourced healthcare services in a variety of settings. This should include the greater use of co-located primary care centres to help relieve pressures on Emergency Departments.
“The NHS must address the problems of an ageing population, which brings with it an increase in the number of patients with complex needs. We must design the NHS around the needs of patients, and build a health service that is fit for the future.”
Stop wasting OUR taxes
I can’t help feeling this is yet another incidence of NHS being caught out, relying on its Spin Doctors putting a political stance on spurious figures. Rather like the doctor I met in Outpatients the other day who was totally convinced that the NHS cancer statistics were far superior to European ones, but wouldn’t listen when I asked why even the NHS were admitting we came bottom of European league tables. And no, she had never even visited a European hospital, let alone been treated in one. “But we have far better treatment with the NHS”.
None so blind ………! But next time you feel guilty about attending A & E – DON’T . You are 85% likely (perhaps more) to be doing the right thing.