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July 25, 2017

NHS to Review A&E Scheme, 18 Treatments in Effort to Reduce Costs

The Daily Telegraph dropped the news that a scheme to divert patients from Accident & Emergency areas is under a national review. An investigation conducted by the news outlet found that a pilot scheme led to the death of a 44-year old man that was turned away from the A&E department.

The scheme, which is slated to be introduced to every NHS trust, will introduce GPs to a system that will screen patients as they come into the unit and divert the least sick patients elsewhere. The goal of the scheme is to alleviate the overcrowding in hospitals reduce pressure on the country’s strained units.

David Birtwistle died from a pulmonary embolism six days after the pilot scheme was introduced. The GP did not administer basic tests that could have saved the man’s life.

BrisDoc Healthcare Services immediately stopped the local scheme after the man’s death.

The £1 million review will not be completed until the summer of 2018, over six months into the scheme’s slated start date. GPs and A&E clinicians will be under review in a new study to examine all safety incident reports.

An assistant coroner for Avon Terence Moore states, “In my opinion, there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken.”

Government officials called for the new A&E scheme following March’s budget, with £100 million made available for the change.

NHS England is working to lower costs, with the scheme expected to alleviate A&E costs. NHS England further announced at the end of last week that a public consultation for 18 products and treatments were underway.

The treatments and products are dubbed “over-priced and low-value,” with many treatments said to be ineffective. The treatments cost the NHS £141 million annually.

Homeopathy is included on the list of 18 products and treatments, with many doctors welcoming the change. Homeopathy is seen as having no scientific basis by doctors across the country.

The cuts will not impact basic needs items.

NHS England could save £5 billion a year on supplies and workforce spending, according to reports. The NHS spends £1.27 for medical gloves at one hospital and 50p at another hospital. The report found that the top 22 hospitals could save £2 billion per year through procurement efficiency alone.

Workforce productivity and efficiency could be optimized up to 4%, leading to £1.6 billion annually. Costs savings for medicine was also found to vary greatly between hospitals. Some hospitals are spending £1.50 per soluble tablet instead of purchasing insoluble versions of medication that cost 2p each.

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