RCEM: Use of Ambulatory Emergency Care can help improve safety and flow

21 November 2018

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine broadly welcomes the Society of Acute Medicine's suggestion of utilising ambulatory emergency care more effectively this winter.

Dr Taj Hassan, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said: “We fully agree with the Society of Acute Medicine (SAM) that NHS Leaders need to make better use of ambulatory emergency care (AEC) as a way of reducing potential admissions this winter. The SAM's recent audit shows just how effective it might be.

"Patients quite naturally want to be back in their own homes as quickly as possible, and AEC is a good way of enabling this where appropriate. Not only is it good for the patient but also the hospital as it helps reduce unnecessary admissions, increases safety and improves flow. It is one of a range of measures we recently highlighted in our guide for health service leaders and boards 'Improving safety in the Emergency Department this winter' where physicians and Emergency Medicine can work well. 

"But let's be clear; the measures we have suggested, including the expansion of ambulatory care strategies, will not prove to be a silver bullet for the problems we face. These measures are ones that can be taken to lessen the impact of winter while systems await real action in the form of a credible 10-year plan and extra, sustainable funding for workforce planning, acute hospital beds and social care."