Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
October 21, 2014

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

Safety lecture: accident prevention benefits NHS

An annual safety lecture has set out how accident prevention can relieve the pressure on A&E, as the number of accidental injuries continues to grow.

Dr Clifford Mann, president of the College of Emergency Medicine, delivered the lecture “Can accident prevention save the NHS?” at the seventh annual Allan St John Holt Memorial Lecture in London yesterday afternoon.

Currently there are 21.7 million A&E attendances each year, and this number is rising by 5 per cent annually.

Addressing an audience of doctors, representatives of the UK’s leading safety organisations, safety and health professionals and business leaders, Dr Mann outlined how visits to A&E due to preventable injuries are impacting the health service, and how reducing them would relieve pressure on the NHS frontline.

While some areas, such as road, occupational and rail safety, have seen significant reductions in injuries, these successes have not yet been translated into the home and leisure spheres, with accidents remaining a major issue for the young, as well as frail older people. Accidents are also the leading cause of death up to the age of 40, and the leading cause of Preventable Years of Life Lost (PrYLL) up to the age of 60.

While there remains a place for some physical interventions to prevent accidents, the big challenges are education and behaviour change, with sustained investment needed in these areas. And, with two-thirds of injuries to working age people happening away from work, there is huge scope for employers to help their employees, plus their families and local communities, to stay safe outside of working hours.

Ahead of the lecture, Dr Mann said: “Not only would preventing accidents reduce the number of people suffering their painful and often traumatic consequences, but it would also translate into significantly reduced pressure on our struggling A&E departments.

“As yet, however, accident prevention is a largely untapped resource for relieving this pressure. There is a very real opportunity to reduce the toll of easily preventable suffering if government, the NHS, safety organisations, employers, unions and others came together to provide the accident prevention help that families desperately need.”

Related Topics

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments