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Emergency admissions increase despite efforts to move care out of hospital


12 May 2017

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Despite national efforts to move care out of hospitals, official figures for March show emergency admissions rose above half a million for the first time.

According to NHS England’s monthly performance statistics for March 2017, NHS trusts admitted 509,801 people through A&E – the highest figure on record.

This is despite national efforts to curb this figure through new models of care, which cost NHS England £114m in 2015/16 and a further £112m in 2016/17.

Despite national efforts to move care out of hospitals, official figures for March show emergency admissions rose above half a million for the first time.

According to NHS England’s monthly performance statistics for March 2017, NHS trusts admitted 509,801 people through A&E – the highest figure on record.

This is despite national efforts to curb this figure through new models of care, which cost NHS England £114m in 2015/16 and a further £112m in 2016/17.

In the Next Steps on the Five Year Forward View, NHS England said the new models of care were curbing the growth rate of emergency admissions by 1.3%.

The document added that ‘PACS and MCP vanguards have seen lower growth in emergency hospital admissions and emergency inpatient bed days than the rest of England’ with PACS vanguards seeing a 1.1% growth, MCP vanguards 1.9%, while the rest of England experienced a 3.2% growth in emergency admissions.

Both PACS and MCP vanguards are designed to keep patients out of hospital and instead care for them in the community.

Prof John Appleby, director of research and chief economist at the Nuffield Trust think-tank, said the monthly performance figures are ‘a cause for concern, when there is considerable effort going in to slowing the growth of these admissions’.

However, Chris Hopson, head of NHS Providers, said that although over two million people attended A&E in March, the NHS is ‘rising to the challenge’ with more patients being seen within the four hour target than last March.

He said: ‘These figures show once again the scale of the pressures NHS trusts are up against. But they also show the NHS is dong an outstanding job in continuing to deliver care for patients – often in very difficult circumstances.’

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