A and E figures: SCIE statement

29 January 2014

Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that the number of older people going to casualty has increased in recent years.

SCIE’s Chief Executive, Tony Hunter, says:

These figures show a worrying increase in older people’s admission to A and E; it’s an urgent issue for policy-makers and care staff. It’s easy for people to respond to the report by laying the fault, separately at the door of GPs, social care staff and other services in the community. Our evidence shows that more effective joint working between community-based health and care services can reduce all types of unnecessary hospital admissions, not just those to A and E. Our Social Care TV film on Wandsworth Community Wards show how their multi-disciplinary teams proactively manage the care and support of people with long-term conditions in the community to reduce the need for emergency admissions. We also know that good infection control, management of hydration and nutrition, and the involvement of falls prevention services can help to reduce the need for hospital treatment for care home residents, as well as those living in their own homes. Much work is going on in an attempt, where appropriate, to join-up health and social care, so that people’s lives are improved and NHS and council money is used in the most effective way. Going to A&E is a traumatic experience – especially for older people. Some hospital admissions are necessary, but sub-acute conditions don’t always need in-patient treatment. More effective integration of community services can help this situation.

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