Letters Target driven care

Target driven excuses

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a1255 (Published 11 August 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1255
  1. Irving Cobden, consultant gastroenterologist1
  1. 1Northumbria Healthcare Trust, North Shields NE29 8NH
  1. irving.cobden{at}nhct.nhs.uk

    Rawlinson blames the four hour accident and emergency target for mismanagement of emergency patients.1 However, the examples he gives of last minute inappropriate moves are merely those of poor practice and gaming—what we in the emergency care team used to call “hitting the target but missing the point.” Although I have seen examples of similar behaviour, I have only rarely seen it …

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