NHS cost-cutting proposals could see one in six A&E departments closed

NHS proposals to save costs could see the closure of one in six A&E departments

One in six A&E departments could potentially face closure under new plans

Monday, February 6, 2017

One in six Accident & Emergency wards across the UK faces closure or downgrades under new plans to save funds in the NHS budget. 

Over the next four years and when the NHS is already under strain, roughly 33 departments in 23 areas of the UK could be replaced by minor injury centres or be entirely closed under planned proposals.

According to Health Service Journal research and analysis of the plans, this could be done with the intention of saving an estimated £22bn by 2021.

Officials are insisting this will come with efforts to increase specialist care, but the analysis revealed a potentially heavy impact on A&E departments.

The hospitals which could potentially be affected range from Telford to the university hospital in north Tees. 

A spokesman said: "Within the overall expansion, it could be possible to improve care and save lives with concentration of specialist urgent services.

"This approach increases chances of surviving a major trauma in this country by 50%.

"However we don't expect significant A&E changes in the coming years."

The report follows the warning from The Red Cross in January that the NHS was facing a "humanitarian crisis" due to the decreasing number of beds and available social care.