‘Removing the four hour A&E target – stupid, or sinister?’

Having previously reduced the A&E four hour wait target from 98% to 95%, Jeremy Hunt wants to exclude minor injuries patients from the target. But is he just moving the goalposts, or is this part of the plan to create an ’emergencies only’ NHS with private firms hoovering up all the elective and semi-urgent work?

Big Up the NHS

So Jeremy Hunt has announced that he will get rid of the four hour emergency department maximum waiting target for the less serious cases (minors) as his only response the the looming NHS crisis. I spent 5 years as a medical director running emergency services for a large NHS trust so I know something about how it all works.

I believe that removing the four hour target for minors is a very bad idea. It will not help the emergency crisis and will cause permanent damage to the integrity of the NHS.

Let me explain.

The essence of the current “humanitarian” crisis is that thousands of patients get stuck on trolleys in emergency department corridors because there are no beds in the hospital to admit them. They suffer appalling indignity and discomfort while receiving second rate care. Ambulance crews cannot offload their patients so they become stuck in hospital car…

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