NHS figures on non-treatment of emergencies are misleading, experts say

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 24 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d463
  1. Ann McGauran
  1. 1London

The national organisation that oversees professional training in emergency medicine has urged caution in interpreting new NHS figures showing that a large number of patients who visit emergency departments in England are not treated. The College of Emergency Medicine of the United Kingdom and Ireland points out that the figures include data from minor injury units caring for patients who may need only advice and reassurance.

The figures in the report from the NHS Information Centre show that about 40% of the 10.3 million visits to accident and emergency departments in 2009-10 in which a valid treatment code was recorded ended with the …

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