Improving access to GPs will help reduce pressure on emergency departments, says NHS

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 23 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7642
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

Fresh efforts to improve access to general practices will help relieve some of the growing pressure on hospital emergency departments in England in the short and long term, officials have told MPs.

Problems in primary care such as poor services and access had an effect, said government officials during an evidence session on 18 December of the public accounts committee for its inquiry into managing demand in emergency admissions to hospitals.

MPs said various reports had concluded that poor access to a GP was linked to higher rates of emergency admissions and asked whether “abandoning” the 48 hour guarantee of getting a GP appointment had led to more admissions.

Barbara Hakin, chief operating officer for NHS England, giving …

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