latest health care news

16.12.16

RCEM calls for ‘urgent spending’ on beds as A&E pressures mount

A&E waiting times are at an unprecedented high, confirming fears that the NHS is being pushed to near breaking point this winter.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) Winter Flow Project, which provides real-time monitoring the state of A&Es at over 50 trusts, found that just 78.68% of patients were admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours in the last week, and this represented a fall from 81.53% the year before.

NHS hospitals have consistently missed the 95% target for waiting times, considered a key performance measures, for years. But the RCEM findings represent a significant drop from the latest official NHS figures, which showed that 89% of patients were seen within four hours in October.

Dr Taj Hassan, president of the RCEM, said that the increase in waiting times was “a knock-on effect” of delayed transfers of care.

Delayed transfers decreased slightly but remained a serious problem, with 2,539 instances compared to 2,565 the previous week, while trusts were forced to bring over 300 extra beds into action to meet demand. In addition, 2,550 elective operations were cancelled.

The RCEM figures follow a report from the Nuffield Trust showing that last winter, the NHS needed 3,466 extra beds a day to keep services running. The think tank warned that bed shortages this winter could put patient safety at risk.

Dr Hassan said: “Our warnings of a difficult winter ahead are already being proved correct and we have just started the winter period.

“For some time we’ve been calling for redirection of funding away from locum spend and into the provision of more doctors and beds. The need for this transformation fund is now urgent.”

He asked the public to help with the situation by showing “help and patience” and only attending A&E if it was an emergency.

(Image c. Rui Vieira from PA Wire)

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Comments

Anon   19/12/2016 at 14:11

thanks David Nicholson useless overpaid unrepentant bully

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