Action on Accidents

RoSPA and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) are calling for a £20million-per-year nationwide programme that would relieve some of the huge pressure on A&E departments by preventing accidental injuries to under-5s.

Our research shows that A&E departments treat a disproportionate number of unintentional injuries within three age groups – under-5s, 15-24s and over-70s – with under-5s accounting for 7 per cent of all hospital emergency treatment.

The cost of that treatment to the NHS in England in 2013/14 was £140million.

With 72 per cent of unintentional injuries to under-5s occurring in the home, RoSPA and RCEM believe injury prevention programmes targeted at this group offer the best opportunity to reduce harm, A&E attendances and hospital admissions.

A 30 per cent reduction in emergency treatment for under-5s would reduce the overall burden on A&E by 2 per cent – with 165,000 attendances and 14,600 admissions – a realistic aspiration.

Injury prevention programmes such as RoSPA’s Safe At Home, which combine education for parents and professionals with safety equipment for families, have proved to be effective and inexpensive and have been shown to achieve a 29 per cent reduction in hospital admissions.

We have produced our joint report, Action on Accidents, to outline what needs to be done, and how it can be delivered.

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