Care Pathways

21.11.18

More same-day emergency clinics ‘could cut down on 14,000 hospital stays’ during winter

Greater investment in same-day emergency clinics could save at least 14,000 overnight hospital stays during the months of January and February next year, making ambulatory emergency care (AEC) a potential solution to the looming winter period.

In a report released today, senior medics from the Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) called on the government and NHS leaders to urgently realise the potential of AEC and address why the implementation of these units is not yet “standard or uniform” across the country.

According to the report, same-day emergency clinics, which sit within acute medical units, offer an alternative to hospital admission for those with serious problems who might otherwise have spent at least one night in a hospital bed. There are around 20 conditions, for example – such as life-threatening blood clots, cellulitis, seizures, and anaemia – that are suitable for treatment in this outpatient setting.

Furthermore, a recent audit – which spanned 127 acute medical units and more than 6,000 patients over a 24-hour period in June – found that only 20% of patients received their first assessment in AEC and, of these, almost 80% returned home the same day. This saved almost 1,000 overnight bed stays.

Dr Nick Scriven, SAM president, said that an increase as small as 5% in the number of patients who receive their first assessment and subsequent treatment in AEC could save almost 250 overnight admissions – or over 14,000 if considering admissions across January and February, during the peak of wintry demand.

He said: “AEC has obvious benefits for the patient in that they usually remain in their own clothes, remain mobile and get to sleep in their own beds while, for the hospitals, it is a way of alleviating overnight bed pressures.

“Given how much pressure we are all under, it would seem reasonable to look at how much could be achieved with investment in this area.”

Today’s report follows warnings from SAM that the government’s £145m investment boost, which will help provide an extra 900 beds, fell 3,100 short of the number required last winter. Dr Scriven therefore urged the Department of Health and Social Care to look again at its investment in AEC and how much can be achieved by implementing same-day clinics.

“With winter rapidly approaching the NHS is on borrowed time. AEC would seem to be an area that is beneficial to both patients and the service but is variably used throughout the country,” he added. “To evoke maximum benefit, a significant investment and national plan for this area is required.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

Two NHS trusts spent a third of the year on highest ‘Opel 4’ pressure alert

12/12/2018Two NHS trusts spent a third of the year on highest ‘Opel 4’ pressure alert

Two NHS trusts spent more than a third of the year under extreme pressure and on the highest level of alert. An investigation by the BBC fou... more >
Financially struggling NHS trust appoints fifth chief executive in just five years

12/12/2018Financially struggling NHS trust appoints fifth chief executive in just five years

The financially troubled West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust has appointed Christen Allen as its newest chief executive – marking its fi... more >
Quarter of trusts spent no money on cyber security last year as NHS’s ‘alarming’ cyber training inconsistencies revealed

12/12/2018Quarter of trusts spent no money on cyber security last year as NHS’s ‘alarming’ cyber training inconsistencies revealed

One in four NHS trusts in England and Wales are spending no money on specialist cyber security or training and trusts are consistently failing to... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

The robots are here at East Suffolk and North Essex

12/12/2018The robots are here at East Suffolk and North Essex

Lauren Hockney, senior communications officer at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS FT (ESNEFT), outlines how her trust is embracing the digital and automation revolution. Robots have arrived at the ESNEFT, and they are giving back hundreds of hours to staff so they can spend more time helping patients. The trust, which includes Colche... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Creating a volunteer 'passport'

12/12/2018Creating a volunteer 'passport'

By utilising the health service’s volunteers, we can deliver better care for everyone, argues Kay Fawcett OBE, clinical project lead at Hel... more >
Right people, right place, right now

12/12/2018Right people, right place, right now

Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Mental Health Network, raises concerns around the mental health workforce and shares some best practice from ... more >
Breaking down barriers to integration

12/12/2018Breaking down barriers to integration

Anne Marie Morris, member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and MP for Newton Abbott, outlines the committee’s recent report on the ba... more >
An attack on them is an attack on us all

12/12/2018An attack on them is an attack on us all

Chris Bryant MP discusses the new law he championed that came into effect in September, which doubles jail time for anyone who assaults emergency... more >

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >

health service focus

View all News