Tackling the problem of overstretched emergency departments

29 September 2017

Parademics, doctor and nurse in A&ETwo medical research teams, led by Professor Adrian Edwards, PRIME Centre Wales,Cardiff University, and Professor Jonathan Benger, University of the West England (UWE Bristol), have agreed to collaborate on complementary emergency care projects.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has funded both studies to report on how using general practitioners (GPs) in emergency departments (EDs) can improve patient outcomes. 

This approach is broadly favoured by government. However, there are a variety of models being deployed across England and Wales with a wide variation of circumstances.  Evidence based research will target the provision of patient focused, efficient models of care.

Efficient models of care

Cardiff University has been charged with evaluating the effectiveness of how GPs currently contribute within, or next to, EDs. UWE Bristol will identify, study and make proposals on efficient models of care.

Professor Adrian Edwards says:

“We all understand the rising pressures on emergency departments...We need to know what works best for patients, in which situations, what is safe and what represents good value for money for the NHS as a whole.”

Work is underway on both projects, with reports due in early 2020. The teams will utilise experts from around England and Wales, including GPs; emergency doctors; nursing staff; policy makers, statisticians and patients.

The projects will use surveys, interviews and visits to gather data from a representative sample of emergency department sites. Their common goal is to improve the quality, efficiency, safety and experience of patients needing emergency care.

Professor Jonathan Benger says: “We look forward to working with colleagues in Wales and across England to better understand the role of GPs in the emergency department, and the best way of providing these services in the future.”

Cardiff and Bristol are confident that collaboration will be mutually beneficial, with the potential to deliver improved service delivery models.