07 January

It has been announced this week that A&E targets are at their worst for the last ten years. Despite warnings to only go to A&E if you truly need emergency services, and putting targets in place, they have simply not been met by the hospitals in England. With a target of 95%, they have dropped to 92.6%. This has been a progressive issue for the last few months, and one that quite clearly needs to be addressed.

The Labour party has suggested that a co-operative solution be made. However shadow health secretary Andy Burnham had reasons to blame the issue on them.

“You will know that I have repeatedly warned throughout this Parliament that severe cuts to social care could end up dragging down the NHS…This is exactly what is happening now. Increasing numbers of very frail, elderly people are ending up in A&E and then becoming trapped in hospital because the care they need to be discharged is not available. This comes on top of pressures arising from the fact that people are finding it harder to see a GP, and pressures within the NHS from the shortage of nurses and GPs.” [1]

However, labour have made it clear that although targets are important, and met, we must remember the most prominent importance is the patients and their treatment.

However, the problem still stands and labour needs to resolve the issues if there is any improvement to be made to patient treatment. And it is not just England, the whole of the UK are falling behind on their targets, some more than England.

There have been some precautions made, but only due to the severity of the situation. Mr Burnham continued to say that ‘a summit was needed to “assess the situation and put in place a coordinated plan to ensure patient safety and support the performance of A&E departments” to minimize any avoidable further major incidents being declared.’ [2]

But do we believe there is an easy solution to this mess? Please let us know your thoughts.

[1] BBC News, (2015). Labour seeks summit to find A&E ‘fix’. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30705689

[2] Ibid

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