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Ground-breaking trial could significantly cut A&E waiting times across London, report finds –

– Mayor urged to promote Londonwide rollout of scheme
– Educational ad campaign could encourage people to seek other care options
– Increased GP registration in poorer areas could help reduce A&E congestion

The Mayor of London should promote the London-wide rollout of a ground-breaking trial that has helped reduce waiting times at an east London Accident and Emergency department, according to a new report by a London Assembly Member.

Shaun Bailey AM’s report, ‘Time to Care’, found that a major contributing factor to worsening A&E times is the attendance of patients who could be treated at other services.

The report looked at a trial at Queen’s Hospital, in Havering, where a doctor was placed at the entrance of its A&E to assess patients as they arrived and redirect those who could seek help elsewhere.

The trial resulted in up to 60 people a day being redirected away from the department, with 33 per cent of those found to require no NHS care at all.

As a result of the trial, patients in need of urgent care had their waiting time cut by 21 minutes – a period described as ‘critical’ by the head of the trial – whilst the children’s emergency department reduced its processing time by 48 minutes.

Staff at the hospital considered the trial such a success, it has since been implemented on a full-time basis.

Through his report, Assembly Member Bailey is now calling on the Mayor to promote a rollout of the policy across the capital, as well as initiating a Londonwide advertising campaign to better educate people about seeking appropriate care services.

The report also looked at research that showed people in poorer communities were less likely to be registered with their local GP, making Accident and Emergency their first port of call. The research showed a major barrier for some was the need to show a proof of address.

Assembly Member Bailey is also calling for the Mayor to address this issue by running a targeted campaign, in conjunction with Public Health England, to reduce barriers to GP registration in these areas.

Speaking about the report, London Assembly Member Shaun Bailey said:

“Everyone in London will have experienced, or know someone who has experienced, an excruciating wait to be seen at an A&E department.

“The capital’s A&E departments are buckling under the current demand but we can go some way to alleviating that pressure by redirecting patients who unnecessarily clog up our hospital waiting rooms.

“The trial at Queen’s Hospital shows how a simple idea can have a significant impact and I am calling on the Mayor to promote the rollout of this scheme across London.

“He also has a role to play in educating people about the range of care services available in London and ensuring there are no barriers to registering with the local GP.

“With the Mayor’s help we can start to address this growing problem and make life easier for both patients and our hard-working doctors and nurses. I hope he is willing to get on board.”

The report: “Time for Care: Reducing the pressure on London’s Accident and Emergency Departments” can be accessed at:


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