The pressure on the Emergency Care Service continues unabated and the service is at a crisis point. Growth in patient numbers is outpacing growth in the workforce and so the system has insufficient emergency physicians and emergency nurses. Crowded and chaotic departments are dangerous for patients and demoralising for staff.
A crisis summit was held between the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the Royal College of Nursing to work together to develop some key recommendations to tackle the situation facing emergency medicine. These recommendations comprise ‘the medicine’ needed for emergency care:
Education and Training: there needs to be (i) a commitment for both educational funding and provision of training time and (ii) an effective and realistic workforce planning strategy.
The A&E hub: A&E should become a hub not a department. Within this hub the emergency department would be one, albeit key component.
A new culture needs to accompany the Five year Forward View: the wider hospital system and the professionals working within it need to collaborate more deeply to support their patients.