Four Issues from Alan Bellinger in Tonight’s DriveTime
1. A&E – there have been numerous accounts across the country that the situation in A&E is difficult and our local A&E (Watford) is no different. Missing the 4-hour wait target; long trolley waits; queuing ambulances. But when 30-40% of the people shouldn’t be there it really means that we are the problem! Here are some simple ground rules:-
- Only go to A&E if it’s life-threatening or serious, otherwise
- Go through 111 – they can help you prioritise
- The other alternatives are Rapid Response, Urgent Care/ Minor Injuries, GP, Pharmacy.
The goal is 4 hours in 95% of cases! That hasn’t been met since JUL 2015.We can all help to make a difference. The problem is not a capacity issue as some would have us believe. There is an increase in clinical capacity; at Maltings 25% more capacity in just 2 years.
2. The NHS 111 Chatbot
Imagine being triaged by your mobile! The app is essentially a chatbot driven by clinically-based algorithms that will triage patients without human intervention based on reported symptoms, a process that NHS England claims will take as little as two minutes. It’s being trialed in north London (including Barnet). In trials against clinicians it gave “different and more cautious advice than the clinicians”!
3. Blocking GP Referrals
It’s a scandal that GP Referrals are being sent to external agencies to be checked before they are actioned. Controversial “Referral Management Centres are blocking GP referrals for procedures in order to save money – so the GP’s judgement isn’t trusted.
4. Local Pharmacies
Have your say on which pharmacies should be protected from the cuts that are being made – go to https://goo.gl/forms/CSTASS3GlD0Klzz23 and come along to our Patient Group Open Meeting on JAN 25