United Kingdom


  • Industry: Government & Public Sector, Healthcare
  • Type: Press release
  • Date: 01/10/2013

Patients fearful over quality of emergency healthcare, says KPMG survey 

  • Patients call on GPs to support A&E departments with more out-of-hours support


  • Only half are happy to use phone-based or online medical advice


  • But most patients accept that technology can improve the ‘healthcare experience’



Patients across the UK are increasingly concerned about the support they will receive in an emergency, according to data released today by KPMG.  Yet, as debate widens about how to tackle the growing pressures on the NHS and A&E departments, most patients are quick to acknowledge that changes to the way health support and advice is dispensed are inevitable.

KPMG questioned 1,000 patients across England and Wales examining attitudes towards hospital, GP and out-of-hours care.  Key findings reveal that:

Care models must change in A&E: a high proportion of respondents suggest A&E departments need more support, with 76 percent arguing GPs should help local A&E teams by providing out of hours care.  43 percent also argue that the public needs to be better educated about when to visit A&E departments, accepting patients have a role to ease the burden

Patients resistant to flexibility of care: although 32 percent are unwavering in their acceptance that a nurse can help, rather than a doctor, this is qualified by the caveat of ‘where treatment is appropriate’.  Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) also say problems arise because medical teams change too often

Face time is quality time: only 25 percent ‘don’t mind’ how they are looked after. In contrast, far more fear a drop in the quality of healthcare support if the traditional patient-practitioner relationship is replaced by a ‘conveyor belt approach’, with 64 percent insisting they want to ‘see my GP’.  Just 47 percent are happy to seek advice online or via services such as NHS Direct

“Putting patients at the heart of a revamped NHS must always be the priority, but the changes involved are complex and require changed behaviour by both professionals and patients.  However hard, the reality is that we must change how healthcare is delivered.  We need an increasing range of clinicians to treat us differently in different places and using different technologies.  And we as patients need to take our share of the responsibility for care.  If these changes are made then the NHS will cope well with the pressures of ill health in a growing and ageing population.  If not, it won’t,” says Andrew Hine, UK head of health at KPMG.

The survey goes on to show that patients recognise that the NHS will be in a better position to cope with demand, if some things change.  79 percent, for example, acknowledge that technology can improve care by allowing remote treatment and 51 percent IT should be used to create real-time reporting of medical problems.

Andrew Hine concludes: “Over the past 60 years we have all become used to building relationships with our  GP as our chief carer, but with demand for health services ballooning it is becoming increasingly clear that seeing the GP as our sole principal carer is unrealistic, and in many cases unnecessary.  The pressure on our clinical community to deliver is growing and we need a radical approach to ensure that the needs of the patient are being met at the same time as ensuring doctors and nurses are able to meet demand.  This workforce challenges is far from simple – it’s not just about the numbers of professionals needed, but also about how, when and where their skills are used.”


Media enquiries:


Mike Petrook, KPMG Press Office

020 7311 5271 (t), 07917 384 576 (m) or mike.petrook@kpmg.co.uk 

Notes to Editors:


About KPMG


KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 11,000 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.7 billion in the year ended September 2011. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have 145,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.  KPMG International provides no client services.



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