Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director
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NHS chief: Winter will be an 'issue' for A&E

Fears are growing about the sheer pressure of increasing patient numbers on the National Health Service, which could cause problems in accident and emergency departments this winter.

Last week a National Audit Office (NAO) report said there were too many emergency admissions to hospitals in England, and the College of Emergency Medicine is warning a shortage of emergency doctors has the potential to put patients at risk.

Speaking to the Today programme, Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England's medical director, said: "I don't think we understand all the reasons why the winter made A&E busier than other seasons."

He said: "One of the things we'll be considering in our strategy is that we need a better offer outside hospitals.

"What we're really seeing is although this is manifest in A&E, this a problem with the whole system. Winter is going to be a particular issue," he added.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday 5 November 2013.

  • 05 Nov 2013
  • From the section UK