A&E change better for patients’

CHANGES to Hinchingbrooke Hospital s accident and emergency department in the early hours of the morning will not lead to life-threatening delays, managers said this week. For more than a year, the hospital has been looking at ways of reducing over-provis

CHANGES to Hinchingbrooke Hospital's accident and emergency department in the early hours of the morning will not lead to life-threatening delays, managers said this week.

For more than a year, the hospital has been looking at ways of reducing over-provision of specialist doctors between midnight and 8am. Many such periods pass without a single emergency patient needing to be seen by a consultant.

The proposed change, which would see patients seen initially by nurse practitioners, then GPs and junior hospital doctors, would be backed up by specialists looking after in-patients, Hinchingbrooke's communications director Karen Charman told The Hunts Post.

"In some ways, it would be better for patients than the present arrangements, because they will have access to a wider range of specialists."


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But she stressed that arrangements were not finalised, and there was likely to be a pilot of the care in the autumn.

"These models are also designed to ensure that junior doctors in A&E will receive the right level of support and supervision at night and address the requirements of the European Working Time Directive," she added.

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Chief executive Mark Millar criticised scare-mongering by some staff and campaigners.

"My concern has always been that the Save Hinchingbrooke Hospital campaign undermines people's confidence in the future," he said.

"We have always said that the hospital had to change, but it will still be here.

"Things that people do that undermine confidence might bring about the very thing they say they want to avoid.

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