One in four emergency admissions avoidable

Nearly one and a half million emergency admissions could be avoided with better preventive care outside hospitals, according to a new report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee on reducing emergency admissions.

In 2016–17 there were 5.8 million emergency admissions to hospitals in England, of which 24 per cent were avoidable if people had more effective community healthcare and case management to prevent them getting so unwell that they needed emergency hospital care, the Committee found. While some progress has been made, the proportion of avoidable admissions has been rising faster than the overall rate of emergency admissions since 2013/14.

NHS England must improve preventive care outside hospitals by delivering on its five-year plan to move care into the community and out of hospitals, says the report.

Meg Hillier, chair of the Public Accounts Committee said: “The benefits of work to reduce the impact of emergency admissions will inevitably be limited until hospitals, GPs, community services and social care work better together to drive down the level of avoidable admissions.”

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