Revealed: 24 A&Es could be closed or downgraded

HSJ has identified which of the NHS’s circa 175 Type 1 adult emergency departments are at risk of downgrade or closure by 2020-21 based on existing NHS proposals, including sustainability and transformation plans, and other intelligence.

Thirty-three hospitals across 23 areas have an emergency department which may be closed or downgraded in this parliament, it found. Of these, there are seven EDs which have agreed and public plans for the change.

Across a further 17 areas, there are 26 hospitals which are in contention for downgrade or closure, but where no final decision has been made. The downgrade of one would lead to the retention of one of the others, meaning 17 of these EDs in total could be closed or downgraded, giving a total of 24 in both categories.

Senior medics and policy experts said this number of closures in the next few years would cause political controversy – but that it did not match the level of radical change envisaged in NHS England’s flagship urgent and emergency care review published in 2013

Full story in The HSJ, 6 February 2017