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Out of hours care criticised

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Out-of-hours care outside of hospitals is largely inflexible and inadequate and is putting pressure on acute services, a new report has claimed.
The report from the Royal College of Physicians claimed patients were going to hospitals because there was nowhere else for them to give the reassurance and care they need.
According to the report, an expansion in the range of service providers and facilities is needed.
The report recommends local, well publicised phone numbers to direct patients to the most appropriate service, acute hospitals should have an ‘emergency floor’, and there should be a national assessment and management standards for common acute medical conditions to reflect best practice.
RCP president professor Ian Gilmore said: ‘This report builds on that work and presents us with a challenge – to change what we do, when we do it and how we do it.
‘For doctors, nurses, managers and all those involved with the care of acutely ill patients, this task will not be easy, but the status quo is not an option if we are to give these patients a consistently high standard of care.’
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