Latest performance figures ‘a welcome improvement, but a long way from acceptable’

10 May 2018

In response to the publication of performance figures for April 2018, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Taj Hassan, said: “These figures are undoubtedly a welcome improvement after what has been the toughest winter period on record for our patients and our staff. 

“We are still a long way from what would’ve been regarded as unacceptable just five years ago and there is a clear realisation now that the chronic stresses on our emergency care systems have left us less and less time to recover. We are still eight percentage points lower than the worst monthly performance in 2012/13. 
“Just because figures are no longer plummeting, does not mean we are out of the woods and we should not accept performance in the 80-90 per cent range as the norm. It is notable that 1 in every 3 of our Type I Emergency Departments are still showing performance of below 80%. That is still a very tough environment for too many of our patients and staff.
“As we head into summer – traditionally the busiest season for emergency departments – we worry that this upswing may be temporary and that patients will continue to suffer. We must also use these next few months to prepare well to create and maintain an adequate number of acute beds and allow those patients who are medically fit back into the community with social care support. 

“The government’s promised announcement of a correction in funding for the NHS and social care cannot come soon enough."