Concepts of ED hubs has traction
Last month members of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the RCN’s Emergency Care Association met to consider the future of emergency department services, which have been at breaking point for an unacceptably lengthy period as a result of increasing patient numbers.Participants debated the ‘A&E’ brand, which the public are familiar with and default to in times of need. Alternative services that divert the public to the most appropriate emergency, urgent and non-urgent services, such as NHS 111 and co-located primary care walk-in clinics, have had some success. Now the time is ripe to expand the boundaries of the ED to provide additional urgent and primary care services in an ED hub.The plan to locate pharmacists, dentists, out-of-hours GPs, frailty teams and crisis mental health teams in the same site as the ED means that patients will be immediately directed to the most appropriate service. This should simplify access and reduce the strain on emergency care.