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Commissioners’ concern over increase in A&E demand at N&N

PUBLISHED: 17:28 22 July 2014 | UPDATED: 17:32 22 July 2014

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2009

Fears have been raised that spending at Norfolk’s busiest Accident and Emergency department could be more than £2m over budget this year, if demand continues to exceed expectations.

The GP-led group in charge of NHS purse strings in the Norwich area today heard that A&E activity at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital was almost 9pc above plan during April and May.

Members of the Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) heard that the increase in emergency admissions and attendances during the first two months of the 2014/15 financial year placed the group more than £200,000 over budget.

Jo Smithson, chief finance officer for the CCG said a “significant” increase in A&E activity at the N&N in May was “extremely worrying.”

Chris Price, chairman of the CCG, said GP services were under “incredible pressure” and some people may be going straight to A&E because they could not get an appointment to see their doctor or believed they could not get an appointment.

Chris Francis added that the increase in demand at A&E was an ongoing trend and CCGs needed to put NHS winter pressures money in place to halt the rise in admissions and attendances. He added that an urgent care unit - staffed by GPs and community health staff - needed to return to ease pressure on the front door. The unit was run as a three month pilot earlier this year.

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