RoSPA joins call for better accident data in a bid to tackle the huge burden of injuries at A&E

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is today joining the call for detailed injury data in a bid to tackle the huge burden of accidents at A&E.

According to the NHS, A&E attendances in England have doubled during the last 20 years to a record 21.48million. This means that, on average, every person in England is now visiting A&E once every 2.5 years - and putting the NHS under enormous pressure.

The UK was once a world leader in injury data collection - until the Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance System (HASS/LASS) was killed off in 2002.

And because patients are no longer asked about the circumstances that led to their injuries - establishing where they were and what they were doing - experts have been unable to fully understand the sharp rise in A&E attendances.

In 2011, serious injuries led to 1.28million people being admitted to English hospitals. RoSPA estimates that the cost of unintentional injuries to UK society is at least £150billion per year, of which home and leisure accidents account for £95billion, road £30billion and workplace £30billion.

For this reason, RoSPA is joining the call for the European Union to provide the funding for the collection and analysis of detailed injury data.

The case for a better data collection system is contained in the policy paper: “The Need for a UK Accident and Injury Data System, Which Feeds into a Pan-European System”.
 
The launch of the paper coincides with European Consumer Day (March 14), which will this year focus on product safety and market surveillance.

Joining RoSPA in calling for a Europe-wide data collection system, is a range of other organisations including: British Standards Institution, British Safety Industries Federation, Chief Fire Officers Association, Electrical Safety Council, Institute of Home Safety, Intertek, and the Trading Standards Institute.

Errol Taylor, RoSPA’s deputy chief executive, said: “To develop effective prevention strategies and to monitor their impact, the EU needs comprehensive and comparable information.

“Good data is critical for setting priorities, developing policy, determining preventive actions and awareness campaigns, understanding risk, and designing safety into new products and standards. It’s also needed to evaluate the effectiveness of preventive measures and to determine the value of further investment.

“Put simply, the EU needs to fulfil its role as a global partner by providing funding for an accident and injury data system that covers the entire region and which meets international good practices, such as those developed in the United States and by the Joint Action on Injury Monitoring in Europe (JAMIE) programme.”

To find out more about RoSPA’s campaign for a comprehensive injury data collection system visit www.rospa.com/injurydata.



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