Data shows GPs are quite emphatically not causing the A&E crisis

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Sean Danaher has completed his review of A&E admissions data from the NHS, completing a process I started. He has summarised the findings in three charts:

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 09.14.59

And:

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 09.16.50

And

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 09.17.43

(Click on each chart and then click again on the version that then comes up to get large scale versions)

The summary is that emergency admissions peak in December: in fact Christmas Day is the peak for one type of emergency admission, but the message is clear and is that emergency admissions are a winter phenomenon exacerbated by Christmas.

One the other hand, peak admissions are in July or very early August depending on type.

This proves the point that A&E per se is not the problem for admissions or delays. Nor is it GP overflow work that is causing the A&E crisis: if such work can be easily handled in volume in the summer without ever there being a fuss no alternation in GP services is required to handle it.

Instead what is required is more chance for people to get into hospital itself or back into the community once there. And as the middle chart shows, there are increasing problems in doing this: things are getting worse.

But let's be absolutely clear: making GPs open seven days a week will have no impact on this, at all. Minor conditions that they can deal with are not causing the A&E crisis.