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Trust chief calls for six-hour A&E target

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The chief executive of a trust trialling the new emergency care standards being considered by the government has called for a new six-hour target to either move patients out of accident and emergency, or for them to receive treatment.

North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust chief executive Julie Gillon told HSJ  a new target should be set as a “body of evidence” indicates patients are at risk of deterioration following A&E waits of six hours or more.

The proposal is likely to be broadly welcomed by many clinicians, but could prove controversial in some quarters. NHS England did not include a six-hour target in the bundle of new A&E metrics being piloted, and the proposal could be interpreted by some as a watered-down version of the existing four-hour standard.

However, Ms Gillon cited analysis by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine last year which revealed thousands of excess deaths resulting from overcrowding and long stays in A&Es.

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Source: HSJ, 4 August 2022

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