Over 18 million people come to NHS Emergency Departments each year in the UK. When they come, they are experiencing emergency medicine first hand. Every single day Emergency Departments in the United Kingdom are providing outstanding care for patients presenting with a wide range of conditions including collapse, chest pain, abdominal pain, sports injuries, mental health problems, obstetric and gynaecology problems, as well as conditions affecting children and the elderly.
Their work varies from major trauma resulting from accidents or incidents such as assaults, terrorism and other tragedies. The importance of Emergency Medicine is consistently recognised by the raft of television programmes, including 24 Hours in A&E, Casualty, Hospital, ER and many others.
However, budget constraints in the NHS limits the ability of emergency medicine to realise its immense potential, particularly the pioneering research required to to ensure that every patient receives care of the highest possible standard.
With your help the RCEM Foundation can change this.
We have established our Foundation to:
- support RCEM activities designed to optimise patient care in the UK
- support ground breaking research
- develop Emergency Medicine care and clinical training in low income countries
Emergency Medicine is facing many challenges. A lack of resources and increasing demand for care means that Emergency Departments and the profession are having to focus on simply maintaining their current levels of service rather than developing and further improving the quality of care they provide.
To ensure the long-term sustainability of Emergency Medicine and support the continual improvement of patient care, we need to enable staff to explore ways of doing this. By facilitating research into how we deliver treatment and into improving the efficacy of the medicine we provided to patients, we can help to improve emergency care and recovery times.
Over the last five years the College has committed around £130,000 to supporting research. While this is welcome, much more needs to be done. We believe that research opportunities should be open to all Emergency Medicine clinicians and embedded at all levels of training. However, at present our limited resources mean we cannot make this vision a reality.
Across the world, particularly in low income countries, we are seeing great efforts to adopt Emergency Medicine models of care. We want to do more to support and develop clinical training and Emergency Medicine care in these countries.
We want to make changes to further improve patient care, to support ground breaking research and help low income countries establish emergency care and clinical training. That is why we have set up the RCEM Foundation.
Our Foundation is just getting started but below is just one example of the difference more research will make:
“Chest pain causes over 1 million people to attend the Emergency Department each year. In around half of these cases, the treating doctor will suspect that the patient’s symptoms have been caused by a serious heart problem called an ‘acute coronary syndrome’, which is commonly referred to as a ‘heart attack’. Fortunately, at least four out of five of those patients aren’t having a heart attack. However, as the symptoms of an acute coronary syndrome can be exactly the same as the symptoms caused by much less serious problems like indigestion, doctors usually have to rely on tests. Even with modern tests, it can take many hours to be sure of the diagnosis. This leads to hundreds of thousands of hospital admissions every year, most of which could be avoided with better tests.
"Our research has found new ways of using current tests, which allow us to quickly and safely reassure thousands of patients every year. This avoids the unnecessary stress of staying in hospital for many patients, helps to free up hospital beds for the patients who most need them and is likely to save the NHS over £100 million every year. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has funded much of this research, which has now informed national and international guidelines, improving treatment for patients across the world.”
Prof Rick Body
Professor of Emergency Medicine
Make a difference
We invest our income where it is most needed and where we can have the most impact, but the College has limited funds.
We invest heavily in education and training to help produce knowledgeable, compassionate doctors, but we want to be able to support more ground-breaking research that will truly help our patients and save lives.
Our limited resources, along with limited funds from government for healthcare, mean that we need your help to build a £5m fund for research and to support the Emergency Medicine doctors of the future.
What it costs
- It costs £200,000 to support a single Emergency Medicine PhD Studentship for three years
- It costs £60,000 to support a single Academic Clinical Fellowship for a year
- It costs around £10,000 to support a typical yearlong RCEM Pump Priming Research Grant
- It costs £20,000 to support RCEM Professorship in Emergency Medicine
- It costs around £4,000 to support a typical RCEM Low Income Countries Grant
- It costs £10,000 to fund the RCEM Young Investigator Awards