Letter to the editor
Jeremy Laurance is right to point out that we are in danger of reversing the improvements we’ve seen in health care (16 May). However, he misses a crucial point – if you look at the data, our A&Es are not swamped by out-of-hours patients from GPs. The apparent large increase in A&E volume is an artefact of another change that happened at the same time: we started opening minor injury units and walk-in centres and counting the numbers attending those. Neither of these are open 24 hours, so they can’t be dealing with out-of-hours patients from GPs.
We are identifying problems and proposing solutions neither of which are consistent with the evidence.
Stephen Black, healthcare management expert, PA Consulting Group
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