Letters The “full” NHS

Capacity is not sufficient

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f44 (Published 08 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f44
  1. Simon D Price, general practitioner1
  1. 1Sunnyside Surgery, Clevedon BS21 7TA, UK
  1. sdp_57{at}hotmail.com

I would hardly regard a 15% increase in emergency admissions over five years—3% a year—as “soaring.”1 With demographic changes this represents at least a containment, if not a reduction, in admission rate.

Who says 29% of admissions are avoidable? Not patients or their relatives. Who is going to deny the frail elderly admission to hospital if it might improve their condition? Which son or daughter? Recent and much publicised protocols for chest pain and stroke will also have affected admissions. Despite doubling their consultation rate over the past 20 years, GPs are working flat out to prevent admissions. What the NHS needs is a half decent humane hospital service with sufficient capacity to care for those who need it.


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f44


  • Competing interests: SDP is a GP in north Somerset and network clinical lead (Newport) Aneurin Bevan Health Board.