The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said a move away from local A&E departments to specialist medical care units could prevent more than 1,000 unnecessary deaths each year. The IPPR fear that campaigns to stop the closure of local A&E departments could prevent those 1000 lives from being saved.
Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, said the changes were all about saving money. Conservatives have compiled of list of 29 A&E services that are under threat. They say seven out of ten trusts proposing downgrades made a loss last year. The government insisted that changing to specialist medical care units will make services safer and more up-to-date and that the move is not financially driven.
The government's emergency access advisor, Professor Sir George Alberti, said : "I have no trouble with that concept at all because for example if my aorta is beginning to rupture I want to see a vascular surgeon, who is experienced at doing that operation. "Now if it takes 20 minutes longer to get there so be it. And the same goes now for heart attacks, for strokes, you need to be at a specialist unit."
Q. Would you prefer to have specialist medical care units, even if it means you have to travel further?
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