'Two-tier' A&E proposals

NHS Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh has unveiled his proposed changes to emergency care across the NHS, calling for a "two-tier" A&E service offering specialised care to ease pressure on an "emergency service at its limit."

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111 non-emergency service to be enhanced under plans

The new NHS 111 non-emergency service, which has been beset with issues since it launched earlier in the year, would be enhanced under new proposals to ease pressure on struggling A&E units released by the medical director of the NHS today.

Read: 111 service in turmoil as key provider NHS Direct pulls out

The idea is to treat more people at home, or at the their local primary healthcare provider and keep them out of A&E. Under the proposals:

  • The non-emergency service would be enhanced to provide people with a "one stop" service over the phone - and it would be staffed by trained medical practitioners
  • Medical records would be on hand so that all the right information is shared between practitioners
  • Workers at 111 woudl be able to book appointments for patients at their local A&E for urgent care
  • Doctors and pharmacists could provide prescriptions ready for patients to collect

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