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Community investment will relieve A&E burden

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There should be closures of hospital beds and investment in community care to tackle the burden on emergency care, the NHS regulator has warned.

David Prior, chairman of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said pressure on A&E departments is out of control and unsustainable.

Speaking at a conference hosted by independent health charity the King's Fund, Mr Prior said 'too many' patients were arriving at hospital as emergency cases, a problem that could be averted by intervention through care in the community.

Chair of the NHS Confederation's Community Health Services Forum Michael Scott agreed, adding: 'It is time that we invest in community health trusts so that they can play as full a part in that response as possible.'

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