Sir Bruce Keogh to review urgent and emergency services

The current structure of local urgent and emergency care services needs to change if it is to secure the best for patients, said NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar today following the NHSCB's announcement of a review of these services.


Led by Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB)medical director, the review will look at the model of urgent and emergency services in England and set out proposals for the best way of organising care to meet the needs of patients.

Rising demand

Commenting on the announcement, Mr Farrar said:

"Local urgent and emergency care services are seeing demand rising, year on year. There is no getting away from the fact that the current structure of these services needs to change if we are to secure the best quality patient experience, improve clinical outcomes and, ultimately, save lives.

Right expertise, right place, right time

"Advances in medicine mean the best response to a heart attack or stroke might see a patient taken to a regional specialist unit. This means they will have access to latest treatments by specialists who treat similar patients on a very regular basis allowing them to develop and maintain their skills to the highest quality standards.

"There is still a vital need for local urgent care services, but the development of a world-class specialist emergency system capable of saving lives also requires having the right expertise, in the right place, at the right time."

Necessary change

He continued:

"The review by Sir Bruce Keogh will help clarify the best arrangement of services. It is essential that patients, local communities, and their representatives - including local and national politicians - are properly engaged in the debate. No change is not an option."