Ep 30. The real problem with patient waiting times | Adrian Boyle

On Episode 30 of National Health Executive's (NHE) Finger of the Pulse podcast, our host Louis Morris is joined by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine's President, Adrian Boyle, to discuss what the actual problem with patient waiting times is.

Adrian explained: "The problem we've got is we're not able to look after people properly, who come into type 1 Emergency Departments and get stuck on trollies for long periods of time. This means that then the Ambulance Service isn't able to offload them and we're seeing this all over the press at the moment.

"When we say 'Demand management is not the problem' that's true because the big problem is actually the flow [of patients] through the Emergency Departments and that's because we just don't have enough beds in our hospitals and we don't use our beds as efficiently as we could.

"[Bed blocking] is the single biggest part of this [patient waiting times] problem. In December, we recorded almost the very highest level of hospital bed occupancy that we've ever seen."

Adrian believes that encouraging people to just make better choices about what they do or launching public health campaigns to stop people from going to Emergency Departments won't fix the problem.

"We need to try and introduce the concept of different queues..."

Listen to the full episode of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast with Adrian Boyle above.

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