The PSC news-insights: entry

22/11/2021
Digital, Strategy, News, Insights

Deprivation is driving repeat A&E visits, says new report by The British Red Cross

The PSC worked with The British Red Cross to carry out detailed research into High Intensity Users of A&E across the UK. Published today, it points to the role of inequalities in driving A&E attendance and the positive impact of High Intensity Use services

Vulnerable people are turning to A&E because they feel they have nowhere else to turn, according to new research from the British Red Cross, carried out by The PSC.

High Intensity Users of A&E (defined as five or more visits in a year) are just 1% of England’s population but they make up 16% of A&E attendances and 29% of emergency admissions.

Deprivation is driving repeat A&E visits, says new report by The British Red Cross

The report reveals that some people attend A&E over 300 times a year, and points to inequalities, deprivation, sudden life changes, complex trauma, mental health and loneliness as key drivers of A&E attendance.

Antonio Weiss, Senior Partner at The PSC, was thrilled to lead on this important project: "High intensity users of A&E disproportionately come from disadvantaged backgrounds yet the simple and hugely effective solutions covered in this report could do enormous good if rolled-out further. At The PSC, it's our guiding mission to help reduce inequalities in society and it was a privilege to undertake this important research."

You can view the full report here. We're pleased to see this issue get the attention it deserves in the media today, including Sky News, BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 4. 

The British Red Cross estimates the issue costs the NHS at least £2.5bn a year.

The research shows the positive impact of High Intensity Use services which can reduce A&E attendance and non-elective admissions amongst people who frequently attend by up to 84 per cent. These services work with people to understand the reasons behind repeat visits to A&E and provide personalised support.

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