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A&E trial that saw up to 60 a day redirected may become permanent

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 July 2016

Queen's Hospital's A&E department

Queen's Hospital's A&E department

Archant

A pioneering emergency care trial directed between 50 and 60 patients a day away from A&E in a bid to focus resources on those in need of urgent care.

The trial, carried out at Queen’s Hospital between July 11 and 22, may now be taken up permanently.

Typically between 450 and 550 people arrive at the Romford hospital’s A&E department each day.

During the trial a doctor at the entrance of the department, run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, told those not in need of emergency care where to access services.

Deputy chief operating officer Mairead McCormick said: “It’s a really positive way forward for emergency care and a sensible approach to deal with high and unnecessary demand.

“It will improve waiting times dramatically for patients who are really sick and in terms of staffing it will help us to redirect our limited senior doctors towards the right patients.”

People redirected included those suffering from coughs, sore throats, runny noses or long-term injuries. In 33 per cent of cases people were advised that they could self care at home.

Ms McCormick added: “People reacted well to it there was no concern from the public they took the advice and left.”

The trust is currently analysing whether patients acted on the advice given, before making a decision whether to introduce the trial permanently. Ms McCormick expected a decision to be made within the next week.

She added: “We want to see what opportunity we have to reinvest time in the really sick patients as we believe we utilise a lot of time with patients who do not need emergency care.

“The trial demonstrated this, 50 to 60 patients each getting a 15 to 20 minutes consultation, that is taking time away from the really sick patients who require senior doctors and emergency care.”

Information on where to access care can be found here.

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