Issues, trends and opportunities
Complex and persistent issues like emergency admission rate rises and the relationship with A&E attendance trends require a close and careful understanding of the data to understand where the opportunities and barriers lie.
Connecting attendances and admissions
Did you know that autumn and winter are the periods with fewest A&E attendances in Kent and Medway, Surrey and Sussex?
Or that emergency admissions are at their lowest in July when A&E attendance peaks – and rise when attendances are lower in late December / early January?
And that the number of admissions increases when the percentage of patients waiting over four hours for treatment rises.
These are some of the findings detailed in a parliamentary research paper published last week which presents a new analysis of A&E attendance patterns in England in 2013/14. One section of the paper looks at emergency admissions via major A&E departments. It provides data about the number of emergency admissions as a percentage of A&E attendance at NHS England’s area team level, where the range extends from 22.1% in one area to 30.9% in another. Kent and Medway’s percentage of A&E attendance resulting in emergency admission was 24.8% in 2013/14, with Surrey and Sussex recording 27.3%.
The efficiency conundrum
Back in July 2010 The Nuffield Trust published “Trends in emergency admissions in England 2004-2009: is greater efficiency breeding inefficiency?” It observed that the four hour target did not in itself seem to have accelerated the rate of emergency admissions or led to growth in the number of zero bed day admissions. Finding an increase in the number of patients admitted for one day or less, it found an implication that the threshold for emergency admission had lowered in the five year period. The paradox it described was greater efficiency resulting in shorter stays for patients, freeing up beds which in turn led to more preventable emergency admissions.
We will be publishing a new analysis of regional data about preventable emergency admissions in June at our multi-sector Partnership Day. It offers the opportunity to see a richer picture and hear what is working where as local health economies unite to find the elusive key to reversing the upward trend in emergency admissions. To register your interest in attending and participating in an event with a wide range of platform speakers, debate and seminar topics, click here.
Leadership scholarship opportunities
[Florence Nightingale Foundation]
The Florence Nightingale Foundation is offering scholarships to healthcare professionals working in Kent, Surrey and Sussex who aspire to be leaders in healthcare.
Leadership scholarships will be awarded for up to £15,000 and recipients will undertake a bespoke programme tailored to their needs to develop leadership skills and define long term career objectives.
Applications are open now and close on 24th September 2014.