RCEM asks Emergency Departments to meet 50 standards to ensure quality emergency care

1 August 2017

Emergency Care staff are being asked to consider how well their departments meet 50 standards set by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine to ensure quality patient care. 

Developed to help medical staff within Emergency Departments provide better care for patients, Emergency Department Care is a 50-point checklist that covers all aspects of emergency care.

The standards cover the patient environment and pathway through the ED, treatment of elderly patients and children, care of those with complex needs, along with education about care, team working and leadership.

The President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Taj Hassan, said: “In the hectic, often overcrowded environment of the ED, sometimes staff feel they are forced to compromise on the quality of service being provided, in their desire to safely tackle the sheer quantity of patients requiring treatment in order to hit their targets.

“While meeting targets is important, it is vital that our primary focus should be on ensuring patients receive the highest possible quality of care.

“Our guide provides a 50-point checklist for ED staff to ensure that delivering safe, compassionate care is central to what they do and placed above all other aims.

 “In 2013 the Francis Report highlighted the neglect of acceptable standards of care, with quality often being sacrificed on the altar of targets. We hope that this checklist, if used correctly, will enhance the provision of quality care and in doing so will help lead to targets being hit.”

Dr Hassan highlighted that: “The fundamental points within the guide should already be in place in departments across the country, but this will offer clarification of what best practice looks like and be a timely reminder of the paramount need to ensure quality care ahead of the traditionally difficult winter season. 

“We have also suggested some initiatives and ideas for departments to develop for patients, that we hope will add just that little bit extra to patient experience.”