NHS plans barring walk-in patients from attending A&E

Medical magazine Pulse has revealed that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is considering the idea of stopping walk-in patients from attending hospital emergency departments.

Although denied by NHS England, the plans , which would require patients to consult their GP or NHS 111 before being allowed to go to A&E, would be a method to tackle the expected winter crisis in the health service.

Dr Helen Thomas, national medical advisor for integrated urgent care at NHS England, said that the ‘talk before you walk’ suggestions were at an early stage and conceded that such a scheme would be a political ‘hot potato’.

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