Welcome consultation on A&E performance measures

16 September 2020

Responding to the government’s announcement on measures to help the NHS through the winter, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said:

“The 25 trusts receiving extra capital to expand their emergency departments will welcome this investment as it will enable them to provide better care for their patients this winter. This investment was originally announced in the prime minister's speech on infrastructure spending on 30 June.

“We still await the similar announcement on how the capital money allocated to eliminate mental health dormitory wards will be spent and note, with growing concern, that we are almost half way through the year and this announcement is still to be made.

“The NHS is likely to be under significant pressure this winter, particularly if there is a triple whammy of a second COVID spike, a winter flu outbreak and normal winter pressures. The NHS also needs to redesign the way we provide emergency care to meet the requirements of COVID-19.

“The proposals to use 111 as a key "front door" to emergency care and redirect patients to the right service, avoiding the need to attend busy emergency departments when not required, are the right approach. They have been developed after extensive work between national and local leaders. It is appropriate that they should be properly piloted before they are fully rolled out but we are hopeful these pilots will prove successful.

“From the first moment that NHS England and Improvement suggested that the four hour standard should be amended, NHS Providers has stressed the importance both of the review being clinically led and of consulting on any change. We believe there is a compelling clinical case for change. However in our view full consultation remains vital to build consensus across patients, politicians, practitioners and the public to successfully make such an important change. We therefore strongly welcome the proposal to undertake a full, open and wide ranging consultation and look forward to contributing to that process.”

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