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Major review of emergency care confirmed by health secretary

6th June 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, has announced a widespread and fundamental review of the UK's troubled emergency care system, and has confirmed that it will primarily be focused on improving levels of treatment and attention for the demographic most dependant on the NHS – 'vulnerable older people'.

This review, which comes after a substantial amount of criticism was levelled at the government for seemingly failing to get to grips with the crisis that is currently facing A&E departments all over the country, will no doubt be welcomed by those who are dependent on the use of products such as curved stairlifts and recliner chairs to get around the home and regularly take urgent and non-urgent trips to hospital.

In a speech to the 2013 NHS Confederation conference, Mr Hunt surprised some observers by conceding that the Department of Health (DoH) has 'failed to give the public confidence that there's anything between GP surgeries and A&E', and that key issues such as a reduction in waiting times desperately need to be addressed.

Acknowledging that 'we politicians have to be responsible when it comes to hospital closures', the health secretary reiterated his belief that many of the troubles now being felt by Accident and Emergency and other departments are a result of changes to the GP contract which were enacted when the previous Labour government was in power.

Mr Hunt remained critical of the fact that 2004 alterations to the contract allowed family doctors to choose not to be available for call-outs at evenings and weekends, pushing up A&E visitor numbers and waiting times significantly over the last decade, but did add that it is 'wrong to say it was only about the GP contract'.

Whatever the results of the review, the suggestions of which should be ready for implementation in under a year's time, people with limited mobility and their loved ones are likely to only be concerned about whether a real and noticeable improvement is seen around Accident and Emergency departments as pressure on the NHS continues to grow.

Image credit: Lydia (flickr.com)