Magazine article Public Finance

Urgent and Emergency Care Services Need Better Integration to Improve

Magazine article Public Finance

Urgent and Emergency Care Services Need Better Integration to Improve

Article excerpt

Urgent and emergency care services are best in North-east England, an investigation by the Healthcare Commission has found.

Its report, Not just a matter of time, published on September 26, shows this was the only region in which every service was ranked as either 'best' or 'better' performing. London fared worst, although performance in inner London was significantly better than in the suburbs.

The commission, which described the report as a comprehensive assessment of urgent and emergency care services', said better integration was the way to reduce the wide variations that put 33% of services rated in the 'best' category, 27% 'better', 22% 'fair' and 18% 'least well-performing'.

It called on the government to ensure 'the organisational stability that PCTs and providers need to plan ahead'. It said performance was typically weaker in services that lay outside the main national targets, to which the greatest attention was given.

These deficient areas included out-of-hours general practitioner services, the needs of people with disabilities and long-term conditions, and the length of time that patients had to wait for attention once they reached an accident and emergency or 'walk-in centre. …

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