Urgent and Emergency Care: A review for NHS South of England – The Kings Fund – March 2013

Posted on April 26, 2013. Filed under: Emergency Medicine | Tags: |

Urgent and Emergency Care: A review for NHS South of England – The Kings Fund – March 2013

Can we keep up with the demand for urgent and emergency care? – King’s Fund – 24 April 2013

“The urgent and emergency care system is under severe pressure. Performance on a number of important indicators, including the four-hour wait and ambulance handover targets, is heading in the wrong direction. Demand is growing and calls for work to be shifted out of hospital look oddly out of line with a system that cannot even constrain, let alone reduce, the rate of increase in many places. Our recent study for NHS South of England raises some questions about the management of urgent and emergency care and identifies some important lessons.

The methods for running a hospital in the face of high levels of variable demand are now quite well understood. They are, however, based on an assumption that capacity and demand are in balance – which may not always be the case. For example, it may be necessary to make major changes to consultants’ job plans to provide 18-24 hour cover, seven days a week. These methods are also hard to implement and need continuous monitoring and maintenance. The key to success is to ensure that patients flow quickly through the hospital and are discharged rapidly. This may have been made more difficult by attempts to improve efficiency and utilisation, and close beds, which have left hospitals running at high levels of occupancy and with reduced ability to respond to fluctuations in demand or to discharge patients.”

… continues on the site

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