Magazine article Public Finance

Blair Backs Experts on Closure of Local A&Es

Magazine article Public Finance

Blair Backs Experts on Closure of Local A&Es

Article excerpt

Plans to downgrade some local accident and emergency departments and replace them with regional 'super A&Es' are vital if patient care and survival rates are to he improved. Prime Minister Tony Blair has said.

'For life-threatening emergencies a specialist is needed at once. But that level of expertise cannot he offered everywhere,' Blair told the inaugural meeting of the primary care trust network, insisting that NHS deficits were not the driver for these changes.

Sir George Alberti, the national director lor emergency access, said the best level of specialist care 'never has been, and never can be' provided by every A&E department. Instead, the most seriously ill patients should be taken directly to a regional specialist centre, even if that meant travelling some distance. …

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