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Public back NHS plans for new rapid care measures

England’s top doctor has welcomed new polling showing that patients and the public support NHS proposals focussing on fast treatment for those who need it in A&E.

A national survey commissioned by Healthwatch England found that an overwhelming majority of people placed a high priority on early initial assessment on arrival at A&E for everyone, allowing staff to prioritise those patients with the greatest need, and ensuring that patients with critical conditions get the right standard of care quickly.

These priorities are mirrored in new standards now being trialled across the NHS, as part of a review led by NHS National Medical Director, Professor Stephen Powis, supported by leading staff and patient groups. They include a rapid assessment measure for all patients arriving at A&E, coupled with measuring how quickly life-saving treatment – or Critical Time Standards – is delivered for those with the most serious conditions, such as heart attacks, sepsis, stroke and severe asthma attacks.

Experts believe updating the 15-year old target regime for emergency department teams with these new measures, combined with an average waiting time target to bring down long waits for all patients, may help NHS teams save more lives and prevent long term disability for thousands more people.

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Source: NHS England, 31 October 2019


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