A survey of more than 500 GPs and secondary care doctors has revealed they think pressure on Accident and Emergency units could be relived by a policy put forward by UKIP in it’s 2015 manifesto.
UKIP pledged to introduce a pilot programme in English hospitals to put GPs on duty in A&E seven days a week and, if it succeeded in easing the burden on A&E staff by freeing them up to treat seriously ill patients more successfully, rolling it out across the country.
“This policy isn’t rocket science; it’s common sense,” says Suzanne Evans, UKIP’s NHS Champion. “UKIP pledged in our last manifesto to train and deploy 8,000 more GPs, and promised to install around 1,000 of them in A&E departments. The government needs to put this idea in train now. At the very least it should be prioritised for as soon as we leave the EU, when vital funding for the NHS is released as we are freed from our membership fees.”
NHS figures show around 13% of patients who attend A&E do not need treatment, and a further 35% are discharged after simply being given advice. The idea of introducing GP surgeries to A&E departments was backed by 61% of doctors surveyed by the Press Association, and by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, which said: “Co-location of primary care services can offer some solutions to the challenges faced by the rising tide of patients arriving at emergency departments.”