Private sector may take elective patients in event of crisis in hospital emergency units, says NHS chief

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 23 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g480
  1. Andrew Cole
  1. 1London

The NHS in England is better placed to cope with winter pressures on emergency services this year than it has been for many years, Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s medical director, told MPs this week.

Keogh, who published the first part of his review into urgent and emergency care services in November,1 was speaking at an evidence session of the parliamentary health select committee’s inquiry into the performance of emergency units in England.

He told MPs that planning had begun much earlier than in previous years and that extra funding had been allocated earlier. In addition, much of that funding was going “to the communities where we think patients are most at risk of problems in winter.” Of the £400m allocated to deal with winter …

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