Health Systems to be Judged on Growth in Emergency Admissions and Bed Days

NHS England has announced a new scheme that will hold healthcare systems to account based on growth in emergency admissions and bad days.

The new approach will assess how well the growth in these critical aspects of the healthcare system can be contained, with the assessment taking place over a two-year period.

Simon Stevens suggested that this new initiative is critical to the success of the sustainability and transformation program.

“The level of emergency admissions will be a key new metric for sustainability and transformation partnerships, while new care model vanguard sites will be docked funding if they do not successfully reduce A&E activity,” Stevens commented.

This new approach is included as part of the “Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View” document.

The text outlines how groups contained within the sustainability and transformation programme will deal with the measuring and managing of emergency hospitalisation rates from April.

And the document suggest that there is a meaningful opportunity for improvement.

This is particularly so considering conditions such as asthma and COPD see admissions significantly above the average level recorded in the Eurozone.

Stevens believes that success of these care models should be to some extent defined by the ability of the system to reduce emergency activity.

“There are a number of other health outcomes that are important and worthwhile, but in terms of helping with hospital pressures, we do have to see connection there,” the health chief commented.

NHS England is due to publish the metrics for every sustainability and the transformation region in July.

This document will be “benchmarking their emergency admission rates and bed days,” while the delivery plan already highlighted the fact that clinical commissioning groups “will be held to account for improvement” on these measures.

And the authorities have already stated that vanguards will be required to “take clearer financial accountability for reducing emergency hospitalisation growth in their area”.

The delivery plan indicates that national funding for each PACS, MCP or urgent care vanguard will be available to STPs to pay for excess emergency admissions growth in their area.

“[This will enable] national leaders to be sure that vanguards are explicitly focused on demand management and delivering better performance than the rest of the country. They now need to fulfil their early promise and demonstrate how they earn their passage”.


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