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Carers UK welcomes MPs’ calls for urgent action on A&E services

24 July 2013

Carers UK has welcomed a Health Select Committee report published today calling for urgent action to relieve pressures on emergency healthcare.

Emily Holzhausen, Carers UK Director of Policy, said: “We welcome the Committee’s emphasis on the urgent need to establish the nature of demand for emergency services.

“The evidence Carers UK submitted to the inquiry shows that if better quality care services are available and families are better supported, then the need for emergency care is less likely to arise. Our evidence also shows that hospital discharge is a flash-point for problems. Where there is no appropriate community care setting or step-down service, patients are often sent home to families without the proper support in place and they, therefore, quickly end up back at the door of A&E.”

A Carers UK survey of over 3000 carers found that of those whose loved one had been discharged from hospital in the last three years, 2 in 5 thought the discharge was too early – either because their loved one was not ready to come home (25%) or the support was not available for them to come home (15%). 60% of respondents said that they did not feel that they had a choice about starting to care for their loved one when they left hospital.

Of those carers who cared for a loved one urgently admitted to hospital, 36% thought that the emergency admission could have been prevented and identified areas where additional support could have helped:

  • 16% said more support from care services could have prevented the emergency admission to hospital
  • 6% said replacement care (for when they, the carer, needs medical treatment)
  • 21% said higher quality care and support for the person they care for
  • 10% said adaptions in the home of the person they care for
  • 7% said telecare or telehealth (e.g. monitoring equipment, alarms and sensors) could have prevented the need to go into hospital. 
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