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From Ambulance to Internet - Emergency Health Gets Internet Back Up

Originally Published 14 February 2003

Paramedics, A&E staff and NHS managers may now be looking at web browsers as often as they look at heart monitors as the National Electronic Library for Health today Friday 14th Februray launches a new electronic toolkit for emergency health care workers. It will be a key tool in the armoury of emergency services and hospitals working to meet the Government?s target of 90% of all A&E patients seen and discharged/admitted in 4 hours by March 2003 and 100% by the end of 2004.

The new "National Electronic Library for Health's Emergency Care Virtual Branch Library" provides a toolkit giving access to a wide range of resources that NHS staff will find helpful for modernising emergency care. Resources in the toolkit include; emergency care case studies, a particular section on coping with the deliberate release of chemical, biological and radiation agents, tips for change and updating of emergency services, detailed analysis of key issues with supporting evidence, and a full index of Department of Health Guidance.

The site also suggests key changes in each area of emergency care - primary care, ambulance services, A&E, hospital emergency admissions, bed management, hospital discharge and social care.

Dr Matthew Cooke, Senior Lecturer in Emergency Care at University of Warwick and Director of NELH-EC said:

"It is difficult for clinicians and managers to know all the sources of information that can help them in changing emergency care and in achieving government targets in the area. This new toolkit aims to give them one site with all the information they need".

Professor Sir George Alberti, National Director of Emergency Care Access at the Department of Health said:

"There are now a bewildering array of actions which Trusts can take to improve emergency care - some of these are less well proven than others. The National Electronic Library's ECL toolkit now provides a single source of knowledge covering many areas which will enable Trusts to assess rapidly what is available and has been tested, which will be of major benefit to patients, staff and the Trusts themselves."

Dr John Heyworth, President of the British Association of A&E Medicine, said

"The need for change in the delivery of emergency care has generated a range of strategies, many of which are universally applicable. The Emergency Department is the hub for emergency care and BAEM welcomes the ECL tool kit which will provide an invaluable centralised resource for clinicians and managers".

The ECL Toolkit is available at

For further details please contact:

Dr Matthew Cooke at University of Warwick
Tel: 024 76 572905