Posted on April 15, 2016

A&E-based GPs not making an impact

A study has revealed that placing GPs within A&E departments is not helping to bring down the demand for A&E services. The report, which appeared in the Emergency Medicine Journal, shows that hospitals have placed primary care staff in emergency departments in order to divert some of the patients from A&E. The cost of setting this up has been great in a number of cases, but the effectiveness of this system has not yet been proved. The research was carried out by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust. It looked at levels of patient satisfaction, reduction in demand and cost-effectiveness. Twenty different studies were included as part of the research, and these showed that there were strong variations in the number of A&E patients thought to be in need of primary care rather than emergency care. The research has suggested that there is little evidence to show that GPs should be based in A&E departments, and that there is some evidence to suggest that demand for A&E services actually rises when there is a GP there. The researchers have suggested that this could be because healthcare services are instantly overused, regardless of how good they are. The report has stated that if the GP services are not available around the clock, then patients will simply opt for A&E instead. The report has suggested that the presence of a GP in A&E can help to bring down waiting times, but this is not true in all hospitals and will only be because there are more staff available to treat patients.
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