Improvements to A&E service at Southampton General Hospital
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It is good to see some positive news about local A&E services in the Daily Echo recently.
On Saturday, it was reported that for the first time in recent years, the number of patients who attended A&E at Southampton General Hospital during the first three weeks of 2014, fell by 0.5 per cent, when usually at this time of year, numbers would be expected to rise by up to 7%. In addition the Saturday article referred to the anticipated arrival of a new elderly care clinic, close to the A&E department.
The elderly care clinic duly arrived over the weekend, as reported in today's Echo. It is hoped that this new unit, which we are advised, will be staffed by specialist elderly care Consultants, will reduce the number of elderly patients needing to be seen in A&E by around three each day, providing them with the specialised assistance that they may require in the clinic instead.
The A&E department at Southampton General Hospital has come in for a fair bit of criticism in recent months, and it is pleasing to see that steps are being taken to address the problems that the department has undoubtedly been facing, whilst looking to improve the healthcare options available to patients.
At the risk of playing devil's advocate however, it might be suggested that the reduction in number of patients compared with what is usually expected at this time of year, has more to do with the relatively mild conditions that we have experienced so far this winter, the lack of snow and ice and the good fortune that as yet we have not experienced a serious flu epidemic in the region. Should the weather turn significantly colder, as is suggested, it remains to be seen whether these more promising statistics will continue, but I do hope that this is the case.
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