RCEM response to Health Foundation briefing on emergency admissions

22 May 2018

Responding the Health Foundation’s briefing on emergency hospital admissions in England, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Taj Hassan said: “We welcome the findings of this excellent report from the Health Foundation. It is a timely reminder of the increasing pressures and problems facing the NHS in its 70th year, that have not suddenly disappeared with the end of winter.

“Patients are getting sicker and our focus must be on the provision of beds in which to treat them. We currently have an inadequate bed base – the report notes that we have the third lowest number of beds in the EU, with the second highest level of occupancy – and this must be corrected. Emergency admissions have grown by 42% in 12 years, which is having a huge effect on the rest of the system, with many patients unfairly having to wait a longer for operations.

“A key point in the report is the lack of examples of effective interventions to reduce demand. It is high time decision makers gave up on futile redirection schemes and planned for the demand we have rather than the demand that is hoped for.

“We must ensure we have sufficient numbers of senior decision makers in Emergency Medicine and improve ambulatory care pathways, as well as access to appropriate services in the community, in order to effect safer discharge. By investing well in the workforce strategy that we have agreed this will help to design the service we need for the future.”