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Hospital closure plans risk pushing A&Es to ‘danger point and beyond’


25 April 2017

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Regional plans to close hospitals will present a ‘risk to patients’ if they go ahead, an analysis by the Centre for Health and Public Interest has found.

The report looked at the A&E performance in North West London where two emergency departments were closed in 2014.

It showed that the 95% four-hour wait target dropped to 60% shortly after the closures, leaving 40% of patients to wait over four hours to be assessed and admitted.

Regional plans to close hospitals will present a ‘risk to patients’ if they go ahead, an analysis by the Centre for Health and Public Interest has found.

The report looked at the A&E performance in North West London where two emergency departments were closed in 2014.

It showed that the 95% four-hour wait target dropped to 60% shortly after the closures, leaving 40% of patients to wait over four hours to be assessed and admitted.

The report notes that for conditions like sepsis or respiratory failure ‘such delays are life-threatening’.

Sustainability and transformation plans are proposing to downgrade or close up to 24 A&Es in England, with plans to keep patients out of hospital and care for them in the community.

The report said that STP areas have ‘important lessons to learn’ from North West London as an area that is ‘further down the STP pathway than any other region in England’.

It said: ‘One is that in these high-density city areas the closures aggravate already existing health inequalities.

‘Another is that the overall quality of emergency care, which is already deteriorating nationally, will be pushed to danger point and beyond if further closures such as those planned for North West London are proceeded with.’

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