- Chris Morris
- Feb 7, 2017
- 5375 Views
Nearly 15% of Accident and Emergency departments in England could be closed or downgraded in the next four years.
Analysis suggests that 24 emergency departments across the NHS system could be closed or downgraded based on existing NHS proposals.
Sustainability and transformation plans are central to this process, but other factors have been taken into consideration as well.
With 175 such departments contained within the NHS system, this means that no less than 15% of A&E departments could disappear.
In addition to this alarming figure, there are a further 26 hospitals facing the possibility of downgrade or closure, but with a final decision on the matter still pending.
The downgrade of one would lead to the retention of one of the others, meaning 17 of these emergency departments could be closed or downgraded, resulting in a total of 24 in both categories.
Experts have suggested that the number of places would be damaging to the healthcare system and could potentially cause political controversy.
Seven hospitals with clear proposals for downgrade and closure include Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust’s City Hospital and Sandwell District General Hospital.
While 26 further hospitals involved in the plans are effectively rated amber, meaning that there are discussions ongoing on the future of these institutions.
Shrewsbury and Telford; Bedford and Milton Keynes and the University Hospital of North Tees are examples of such hospitals.
Numerous other hospitals have seen concerns raised, but the possibility of closure is an open-ended question.
Trusts in this category include a number of small trusts like the Princess Alexandra in Harlow.
NHS England and the Department of Health have not formally commented on this issue, nor confirmed the status of any Accident and Emergency departments.