Friday, 3 March 2017

Sicker patients the main reason for A&E winter pressures

Sicker patients the main reason for A&E winter pressures Sicker patients with more complex conditions are the main reason for worsening performance in A&E departments, according to The King’s Fund’s latest quarterly monitoring report.

Eighty per cent of NHS finance directors who responded to our latest survey identified higher numbers of patients with severe illnesses and complex health needs as a key reason for the pressures on A&E units, while 70 per cent cited delays in discharging patients from hospital. This contrasts with 27 per cent who pointed to poor access to GPs and 20 per cent who identified shortages of clinical staff as key factors.

The survey also highlights the huge effort made by the NHS to prepare for increased pressure on services during the winter. More than 70 per cent of the trusts surveyed increased their staff, while 80 per cent of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) paid for extra resources in primary care. Other common measures included postponing planned treatment, paying private companies to take on NHS work, and paying higher rates to recruit more agency staff. The King's Fund

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