Report claims London’s ‘buckling’ A&E departments could be improved by pioneering Queen’s Hospital trial

Queen's Hospital's A&E department

Queen's Hospital's A&E department - Credit: Archant

Calls are growing for a ground-breaking emergency care trial which drastically cut A&E waiting times to be rolled out across the capital.

The pioneering trial, which has now been implemented permanently, saw between 50 and 60 patients a day turned away from A&E at Queen’s Hospital in a bid to focus resources on those in need of urgent care.

It meant patients in real need had their waiting times cut by 21 minutes, while the children’s emergency department reduced its processing time by 48 minutes.

Now pressure is being put on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to promote rolling the system out across London’s hospitals.

London Assembly Member Shaun Bailey is now urging the Mayor to promote a rollout of the policy across the capital, as well as initiating a London-wide advertising campaign to better educate people about seeking appropriate care services.

In a report Mr Bailey has released, research showed that people in poorer communities were less likely to be registered with their local GP, making Accident and Emergency their first port of call.

He said: “Everyone in London will have experienced, or know someone who has experienced, an excruciating wait to be seen at an A&E department.

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“The capital’s A&E departments are buckling under the current demand but we can go some way to alleviating that pressure by redirecting patients who unnecessarily clog up our hospital waiting rooms.

“The trial at Queen’s Hospital shows how a simple idea can have a significant impact and I am calling on the Mayor to promote the rollout of this scheme across London.

“With the Mayor’s help we can start to address this growing problem and make life easier for both patients and our hard-working doctors and nurses. I hope he is willing to get on board.”

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

People redirected included those suffering from coughs, sore throats, runny noses or long-term injuries.

The success resulted in the trial being implemented at the hospital in Rom Valley, Romford, on a full-time basis.

A spokesman for the Mayor said: “The Mayor welcomes innovation from NHS staff in solving some of the organisation’s most pressing issues.

“He also urges patients to think carefully about which service they need.”

Mairead McCormick, deputy chief operating officer at Queen’s, said: “We ran the trial as we knew many people were coming to our emergency departments who did not need emergency care.

“We made the trial permanent after looking at the results alongside our partners, who were involved at every stage of the process.

“It’s made a real difference to our patients by allowing us to focus on providing critical care to those who need it most.”