One of the ways McKinsey has decided it’s possible to save £20 billion in the NHS is to reduce the number of acute admissions made to hospitals.
Acute admissions are, of course, the emergency ones, that go through accident and emergency or straight into a medical assessment unit.
I am now aware that some Primary Care Trusts are asking GPs to reduce the number of these admissions by 20%. This is a curious target. Only 25% of acute admissions are referred into hospital by GPs. The rest of these admissions, all of whom are by definition GP patients and are therefore logged against their names, turn up in hospitals inthe back of ambulances, or are driven there by their friends or relatives when seriously ill.
To deliver the reduction in acute admissions demanded of GPs they either have to stop their referral of people who front up with heart attacks in their surgeries by 80%, or they have to ignore meningitis in children, or send people home with deep vein thromboses. Alternatively, they have to set up roadblocks that prevent ambulances carrying their patients arriving at accident and emergency units.
You\’re wrong, entirely and completely.
The aim is not to reduce acute admissions in general and most certainly not to either block ambulances or to treat heart attacks or meningitis in the GP surgery. To claim such is grossly irresponsible fear mongering by yourself: whether by design or ignorance I don\’t know.
There\’s an important part of the story you\’ve missed:
Exclusive: GPs are facing demands to deliver unprecedented reductions in hospital activity over the current financial year, with NHS managers setting targets for cuts in admissions of 15% or more by next April, a Pulse investigation reveals.
In November, Pulse revealed Sir John Oldham, DH national clinical lead for quality and productivity, had warned GPs that by the end of 2013/14, they would have to cut unscheduled admissions of patients with long-term conditions by a fifth and help reduce A&E attendance by 10% and length of stay by 25%.
Primary care organisations are going far further than even the Department of Health had planned, and demanding GPs deliver major cuts in hospital activity in less than half the time set out in the national QIPP programme. GPs warned the plans were unachievable and that there was a risk they could damage patient care.
To emphasise what you\’ve missed: reduce acute/unscheduled admissions of patients with long-term conditions.
This is nothing to do with people presenting with new conditions: those heart attacks, that meningitis. It\’s to do with those with chronic conditions. Please stop packing them off to A&E at the drop of a hat and get on with a bit more doctoring yourselves would you, dear GPs?