"The apparent large increase in A&E volume is an artefact of another change that happened at the same time"
STEVE BLACK, PA HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT EXPERT
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