Increase in parents taking children to hospital for non-emergencies

There has been a rise in the number of parents taking their children to hospitals’ accident and emergency departments for non-emergency treatment, researchers have said.
In the paper published in the Emergency Medicine Journal, researchers from Nottingham Children’s Hospital and the University of Nottingham Medical School studied 39,394 records for children aged 15 and under attending the Queen’s Medical Centre A&E in 2007-08.
They found that more than a third of those admitted had common medical problems, such as breathing difficulties, fever, diarrhoea or vomiting, rather than requiring trauma or surgical treatments.
This is a rise of 42 per cent compared to figures taken from 1997-98.
The researchers speculate that the increase could be down to a fall in the number of GPs offering an out-of-hours service.
Commenting on the results, John Heyworth, president of the College of Emergency Medicine, told the Telegraph: “Parents have found in the last few years that accessing primary care is more difficult than previously.
“There’s a desperate need for better access in hours but particularly at weekends and evenings.” 

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