Many of the 2.1 million patients who present to A&E with minor illnesses that could be treated by their GPs are young children, new research from the College of Emergency Medicine reveals.
Dr Clifford Mann, president of the College of Emergency Medicine said the research shows the need for "de-congesting" of emergency departments, but stressed the fact that the majority of people attending A&E need to be there:
The fact that only 15% of attendees at emergency departments could be safely redirected to a primary care clinician without the need for emergency department assessment is a statistic that must be heeded by those who wish to reconfigure services.
Providing a more appropriate resource for the 2.1 million patients represented by this figure would substantially de-congest emergency departments.
De-congesting emergency departments is key to relieving the unprecedented levels of pressure placed upon them and improving patient care.