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The key to the NHS’s survival this winter

New approaches to avoiding hospital admissions in the first place—and getting people home faster after they have been treated—hold important lessons. But don’t roll them out across the country just yet

By Ruth Thorlby  

Photo: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/PA Images

Picture this. It’s mid-winter. You’ve managed really well since your fall last year, but today you’re not feeling quite right—you’re dizzy and under the weather. Getting through to your GP is hard, and you don’t like to bother them anyway, and your spouse thinks you should go to A&E.

At A&E there are lots of doctors and nurses, rushed off their feet, and you wait. You can’t quite remember, when they ask you, the names of all the pills you are supposed to be…

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