NHS scheme to cut down on overnight admissions hit by staff and bed shortages
The Independent|November 24, 2021
A flagship NHS scheme to reduce pressure on hospitals has “stalled” due to a lack of beds and staff shortages, The Independent can reveal.
REBECCA THOMAS

A flagship NHS scheme to reduce pressure on hospitals has “stalled” due to a lack of beds and staff shortages, The Independent can reveal.

Hospital wards designed to treat NHS patients within one day are instead being “inappropriately” used as “overflow” areas for busy A&E departments, according to research by the Society for Acute Medicine.

These wards, known as “same-day emergency care units”, were rolled out to all NHS trusts before the pandemic in an effort to help reduce hospital admissions. In 2019, NHS England promised that the scheme, once it had been implemented in all trusts, would reduce admissions in English hospitals by 50,000 a year.

However, a study carried out in June, which looked at some of the units, showed that just 22 per cent of the patients who attended the hospital were assessed and treated within one day when the national target is for these units to see at least 30 per cent.

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