How many A&Es are going to close?

Published: 8th Feb 2017

In brief

Claim

One in six A&E units in England are set to be closed or downgraded.

Conclusion

These figures are mostly speculative at present. Research has shown this many could be closed or downgraded based on their current plans. At the moment we only know for definite that about a quarter of these will be closed or downgraded.

“One in six Accident and Emergency units in England are set to be closed or downgraded.”

Jeremy Corbyn, 8 February 2017

Research has identified one in six A&E units which could be closed or downgraded—but it’s more speculative than set in stone at this stage. And the loss of some units won’t represent an equivalent loss in service provision, in every case.

Mr Corbyn is referring to analysis from the Health Service Journal, published earlier this week. It identified 24 major A&E units that could be downgraded or closed altogether in the next four years—about 15% of departments across the country.

The figure is mostly based on analysing public plans and statements from NHS trusts across the country.

But not all of these are confirmed closure or downgrade plans.

Of the 24, four will be downgraded and three will be closed. The rest have plans that aren’t finalised or are up for consultation. The researchers say these units could be downgraded or closed, but could equally be kept or upgraded.

In the case of City Hospital and Sandwell and District General Hospital in Birmingham, the planned closures are set to be replaced by a new hospital anyway.

So we don’t necessarily know how services will actually be affected by these changes.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of Prime Minister's Questions. Read the roundup.


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