RCEM response to identification of test sites for new clinical standards

5 April 2019

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine welcomes the announcement by NHS England that test sites have been allocated to explore new ways of measuring the patient care in Emergency Departments.


The College has been invited to play an important role in providing expert clinical advice to this process through inclusion on key committees involved in this work. Further information on this will follow.

President, Taj Hassan said: “The delivery of safe quality care for patients in Emergency Departments is an absolute priority for our Members and Fellows.

"The importance of having robust standards to measure and monitor flow in emergency care systems to help minimise crowding is an essential part of maintaining safety. 

"The College has been engaged with NHSE/I over the past four weeks to provide our expert advice in the review of standards and to ensure that safety remains at the very heart of that process. 

"We believe that the testing will need to consider a number of complex factors that must lead to standards that are better than before and must stand up to the stressors of increased workload that our staff are having to cope with. The key area of maintaining patient flow through our systems to help minimise crowding in our Emergency Departments was a key advantage that the four-hour Emergency Care Standard helped to provide. Discussions have been helpful in assuaging our concerns that design and testing of the new metrics will need to maintain the important role of having an equally powerful 'patient flow metric' in any new clinical standards.

"We are pleased to be involved and look forward to working with NHSEngland / improvement in this vital area.”