Non-emergencies clogging up A&E

TORRECARDENAS Hospital treated a daily average of 408 A&E patients last year.

The 149,154 total is the equivalent of the combined populations of Nijar, Adra and Roquetas.

Nevertheless, this is down on the number of people who sought emergency treatment 10 years ago, the hospital authorities pointed out.

When patients arrive, they are assessed according to the Manchester triage system, whose five levels determine the severity of a patient’s condition. Hospital statistics show that 60 per cent of those who arrived at Torrecardenas A&E last year – approximately 90,000 – belonged to the lowest Level 4 and Level 5 categories.

To put it another way, they did not need to go to a hospital for emergency treatment at all and instead required primary care health treatment.

Reducing this percentage is one of the provincial hospital’s priorities, said Francisco Anton, overall manager of the Torrecardenas complex.

Possible solutions include a separate area for assessing less pressing cases as well as a separate area for treating low-priority ones. It is also hoped to extend the facilities for Level Two and Level Three patients, Anton said.

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