New research finds that one third of A&E visits could be avoided
It has been revealed that one third of visits to hospital emergency departments could be avoided.
As flu season continues to rage, hospitals across the country have been placed under immense pressure and have seen a shocking rise in the number of patients being admitted and attending A&E.
Now, in new research ordered by Laya Healthcare, it has been concluded that a large volume of these emergency department admissions could be prevented.
The study found that in the last 12 months, one in three people attended the emergency department twice for non-life-threatening conditions, despite there being alternative care options available such as a GP, pharmacist or local urgent care clinic.
The study also discovered that almost 29% of people refrain from seeking medical treatment, because they are worried about being forced to wait for hours in hospital. On average, the research concluded that patients were forced to wait approximately seven hours before being attended to by a medical professional.
Worryingly, 44% of people who took part in the study are unaware of any other urgent care options that they can turn to as an alternative to attending the emergency department.
Only 24% of people would consider going to their local public injury clinic if they had a minor injury, as there is a belief that they will receive quicker treatment at a hospital.
Dr Lauren Brand, an Urgent Care Physician who works in the Laya Health and Wellbeing Clinic in Dublin, has stressed that more awareness needs to be drawn to healthcare options outside of A&E.
“All these paths should be considered before heading to the ED. Of course, if the injury or illness is suspected to be serious, that’s when you should consider calling an ambulance or going to the local hospital,” she stated.