Satinder Mann

Abstracts

2 Urgent Care Centres in the United Kingdom

Authors: Ahmed Ismail, Mohammad Ansari, Satinder Mann

Abstract:

Primary care patients in Emergency Departments (ED) have been the topic of discussion since 1998 in the United Kingdom. Numerous studies have analysed attendances in EDs retrospectively and suggest that at least one third to fifty percent patients attending ED with problems which could be managed appropriately in General Practice or minor injuries units. The pattern of ED Usage seems to be International. In Australia and many departments in the United States include walk in facilities staffed by physicians on family practice residency programme. It clearly appears in the United Kingdom that EDs have to accept that such patients with primary care problems will attend the ED and facilities will have to be provided to see and treat such patients. Urgent care centres were introduced in the United Kingdom nearly a decade ago to reduce the pressure on EDs. Most of these were situated near pre-existing EDs. Unfortunately these centres failed to have the desired effect of reducing the number of patients visiting EDs, it has been noticed that when more patients were seen in Urgent Care centres there were increased attendances in ED as well. A new model of Urgent Care centre was started in the ED of George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, UK. We looked at the working of the centre by looking at the number of patients seen daily against the number of total attendances in the ED. We studied the number and type of patients seen by the Urgent Care Doctor. All the medical records of the patients were seen and the time patients spent in the Urgent Care centre was recorded. The total number of patients seen during this study were 1532. 219 (14.3% ) were seen within our Urgent Care centre. None of the patients waited over four hours to be seen. It has been recognised that primary care patients in the ED are a major part of attendances of the department and unless these patients are seen in Urgent Care centres, overcrowding and long waits cannot been avoided. It has been shown that employing primary care Physicians in Urgent Care centres reduces overall cost because they do not carry out as many investigations as Junior Doctors. In our study over 14% patients were seen by Urgent Care Physicians and none of the patients waited for more than four hours and we feel that care provided to the patients by Urgent Care centre was highly effective and satisfying for the patient.

Keywords: Cost, primary care physicians, urgent care centres, overcrowding

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1 Primary Care Physicians in Urgent Care Centres of the United Kingdom

Authors: Ahmed Ismail, Mohammad Ansari, Satinder Mann

Abstract:

Overcrowding in Emergency departments (ED) of United Kingdom has become a common problem. Urgent Care centres were developed nearly a decade ago to reduce pressure on EDs. Unfortunately, the development of Urgent Care centres has failed to produce the projected effects. It was thought that nearly 40% patients attending ED would go to Urgent Care centres and these would be staffed by Primary care Physicians. Data reveals that no more than 20% patients were seen by Primary Care Physicians even when the Urgent Care Centre was based in the ED. This study was carried out at the ED of George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, UK where the Urgent Care centre was based in the ED and employed Primary Care Physicians with special interest in trauma for nearly one year. This was then followed by a Primary Care Physician and Advanced Nurse Practitioner. We compared the number of patients seen during these periods and the cost-effectiveness of the service.We randomly selected a week of patients seen by Primary Care Physicians with special interest in Trauma and by Primary Care Physicians and the Advanced Nurse Practitioner. We compared the number and type of patients seen during these two periods. Nearly 38% patients were seen by Primary care Physician with special interest in Trauma, whilst only 14.3% patients were seen by the Primary care Physician and Advanced Nurse Practitioner. The Primary Care Physicians with special interest in trauma were paid less. Our study confirmed that unless Primary Care Physicians are able to treat minor trauma and interpret x-rays, the urgent care service is not going to be cost effective. Numerous previous studies have shown that 15 to 20% patients attending ED can be treated by Primary Care Physicians who do not require any investigations for their management. It is advantageous to have Urgent Care Centres within the ED because if the patient deteriorates they can be transferred to ED. We recommend that the Urgent care Centres should be a part of ED. Our study shows that Urgent care Centres in the ED can be helpful and cost effective if staffed by either senior Emergency Physicians or Primary Care Physicians with special interest and experience in the management of minor trauma.

Keywords: Trauma, Primary Care Physician, urgent care centres, advanced nurse practitioner

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