An audit of the Primary Eye-care Acute Referral Scheme (PEARS) within NHS Bromley Clinical Comm...

6 February 2015
Volume 16, Issue 1

Are patients utilising a primary care service rather than a true emergency service?

Introduction 

Don’t just go to A&E – you could get quicker treatment closer to home (NHS Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group 2013).

Accident and emergency (A&E) departments are becoming busier, with many struggling to cope with the increasing demand. Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, predicts demand for its A&E department will double over the next 10 years. It is generally acknowledged that many of these patients are utilising a ‘primary care service’ rather than a true ‘emergency service’. Indeed, changes to legislation and targets make visiting A&E a definite alternative to visiting the patient’s own general practitioner (GP), despite obvious patient inconvenience and excessive waiting times (Smith et al. 2013). 

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