North Manchester General A&E Leading The Way In Emergency Care
A NATIONAL report into A&E attendances by The College of Emergency Medicine, published on Thursday (22nd May 2014), showed that only 15% of patients attending A&E departments could be seen elsewhere by a GP in the community without the need for Emergency Department assessment.
Although the redirection figure of 15% is substantially less than the often quoted 40%, it equates to 2.1 million attendances. This supports the College’s call for the establishment of co-located primary care centres to decongest A&E, General Practitioners to work within A&E departments and use joint ED facilities, and early access to specialist Emergency Medicine doctors.
The report calls for service redesign to include co-located GP surgeries and trained GPs working in A&E, with 22% of patients attending being suitable for assessment by a GP working in A&E.
North Manchester General Hospital is a busy A&E department seeing almost 100,000 patients a year. It has bucked the recent trend by meeting the 95% 4 hour A&E national performance standard since December 2013, and is currently one of the best performing A&E departments in the North West.
The number of vacant posts for senior medical staff in the department has already prompted a strategic rethink and service redesign along the lines now being proposed by The College of Emergency Medicine. As such the College recommended BBC’s health correspondent Dominic Hughes visit the Trust to find out more about the new ways of working, with the feature being shown on the BBC news bulletins this week.
Dr Jim Butler Consultant in Emergency medicine at North Manchester General, said:
“We realised some time ago that the current approach to staffing an A&E department is no longer viable and a different approach was needed. Due to a national shortage of doctors, we have far fewer senior doctors than we need to properly run the department and therefore are heavily reliant on expensive agency locum doctors.
“We have been developing the strategy for about six months and are now moving into the recruitment phase. We aim to recruit four General Practitioners with a special interest in Emergency Medicine. They will be integrated directly into the senior team in the department, working alongside our consultants, seeing patients and supervising our junior staff to provide better patient care. In order to maintain their General Practice accreditation and knowledge, they will work for one day a week in one of our affiliated local GP surgeries providing a direct link between primary care and the emergency department.
“These are exciting developments which will enable us to keep providing a good service to patients attending the hospital by ensuring we get them to see the right clinician in a timely fashion.”