The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges welcomes the publication of NHS England's Urgent and Emergency care review.
We believe the vision it sets out represents a positive solution to the very serious difficulties currently facing urgent and emergency care provision in the NHS.
The Academy was particularly pleased to see how the report recognises that all parts of the healthcare system will play their role in tackling the issue. It will be the input of patients themselves, GPs and other primary care professionals, smaller and larger emergency departments and networks of care coordinating their activity and working together that will provide sustainable urgent and emergency services.
The pressures on urgent and emergency services are not restricted to England alone. The NHS in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is facing similar difficulties. They will need to develop solutions that fit their own circumstances but an integrated approach is likely to be required.
It is important to recognise that it is very often the medical profession itself which has been leading the debate and advocating these sort of changes. For a number of years medical Royal Colleges have been saying that patients will benefit from some services being provided in larger centres. Colleges consistently seek to set out a vision of how services in hospitals and primary care can best develop and adapt to met changing patient needs.
There are immediate and pressing issues about the capacity of staff in emergency departments and primary care to deliver urgent and emergency services at the present time. These are not specifically considered in the report and need to be addressed as this work is taken forward.
The Academy and Colleges which represent doctors in hospitals and primary care will be keen to work with NHS England in developing and delivering these proposals.
Read the NHS England report here.