On 3 June, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the Patients Association released their joint report, Time to Act – Urgent Care and A&E: the patient perspective.
Commenting on the report, Dr Alistair Douglas, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: “Getting patients with urgent care needs to the right place, first time is a fundamental principle and we need to see action taken to ensure services are set-up accordingly to achieve this.
“With current out-of-hours primary care not adequately meeting patients’ needs, co-location with A&E departments – but also near to acute medical units (AMU) and critical care wherever possible – would be a significant and positive development.
“Highly-functioning systems perform at a level where 70% of urgent medical admissions bypass A&E by seeing a GP and going direct to AMU, where they receive appropriate care from specialists in acute internal medicine.
“Combined with co-location of out-of-hours primary care services, efforts to bring A&E departments, AMUs and critical care closer together would ensure more patients are treated in the right place sooner and help to further relieve pressure on emergency care.”