Patients at Queen’s and King George hospitals choose A&E for second opinion, survey finds

PUBLISHED: 19:03 03 June 2015 | UPDATED: 21:34 03 June 2015

Patients at Queen's and King George Hospitals have said they use A&E for a second opinion

Patients at Queen's and King George Hospitals have said they use A&E for a second opinion


Patients have been handed surveys at the doors of Queen’s Hospital and King George Hospital in an effort to understand why so many chose accident and emergency services over their GP.

Wanting a second opinion and thinking they will be “fully investigated” if they go to A&E were high on the list of reasons to visit, according to the chief operating officer of the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust (BHRUT).

Speaking at the Trust’s board meeting at Queen’s Hospital in Romford today, Sarah Tedford said: “A number of patients know that if they come to hospital they will be seen quickly.

“They know they will be fully investigated and have an answer within four hours and therefore don’t mind waiting.”

The small set of surveys also found some patients had been given a GP appointment but it was too far in the future and did not suit their desired urgency.

“Another thing was that many patients had already seen their GP,” Ms Tedford added.

“They then said they wanted to come to A&E for a second opinion – which we thought was really interesting.”

Non-Executive Director on the board, Mark Lam, asked what was being done with the local community to ensure the most appropriate pathway is used.

He said he read that a number of people who may have had symptoms for several days do not go to their GP and instead choose A&E.

Ms Teford explained: “The thing that started this piece of work was whether there were many people who had tried to get a GP appointment but couldn’t get one. So it’s kind of a challenge for us all.”

She said as far as acute medicine is concerned there has been a particularly high spend on agency staffing and there are issues around funding of out of hours GP services.

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