Atlantis Medical News

A&E departments under pressure

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21 NOV 2017

It is important for many organisations to have goals and aims in place, because this is what drives companies forward. However, these goals have to be realistic and if the goals aren’t met, there needs to be a discussion about what went wrong and more importantly, what can be done to make things right in the future.

The NHS is facing a crisis at the moment or more accurately, it is facing a range of problems and issues that add up to an almighty crisis. One area where the organisation is coming under increasing pressure is A&E, and this is down to the failure to meet the four hour target in accident and emergency rooms. There is considerable pressure on these departments, so it is no surprise to learn that they are struggling, however, more bad news is on the way.

With predictions that the winter weather is going to be quite harsh, tipped to be the most severe since 2011, many people are concerned about how the NHS is going to cope when the weather takes a turn for the worse. If the organisation is already stretched without the added concern of cold temperatures, snow and wind, things could get a lot worse before the end of the year.

There is considerable pressure on A&E departments in the NHS
There is a need though to look at why pressure is building on A&E Departments all throughout the year, and there is a need to know what can be done to change things. There has been a study published in the Emergency Medical Journal looking at why A&Es appear to be under considerable pressure when the number of attendees has only risen slightly in recent times. More than 20 million attendees have been analysed with 47 A&Es across the country being part of the review.

One conclusion about why the NHS is seemingly performing worse is down to improvements in the organisation and the diversion of certain people. There are other places and medical specialists who are treating people with minor conditions. More work could be done at walk-in centres, by ambulances at the scene of an incident and even in GP practices across the country. The study suggests that many of the ailments and issues that can be easily resolved are no longer coming to A&E, which removes a lot of the chance to get turnaround times down. This has helped to remove some of the pressure in these departments with respect to volume, but it hasn’t removed the heavy or lengthier workloads that are associated with other forms of emergency service work.

It also appears that many people who would have been admitted to hospital with an issue are now being dealt with in A&E. This is helping to reduce the pressure and demand on individual hospital departments, while improving the overall times that people are dealt with, but it has an impact on how A&E figures stand up. This is where there is a need to look at the wider picture of the NHS because while A&E departments are obtaining poorer results down to this outcome, it should actually have a more positive impact on hospitals and the NHS in general.

At Atlantis Medical, we see the hard work and effort that is found in A&E departments across the country and any failure to meet targets is not down to the professionals involved. When it comes to reviewing individual NHS departments, it is often best to look at the organisation as a whole as opposed to one area in isolation.


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