RCEM Winter Flow Project shows EDs returning to “unacceptable normal pressures”
Commenting on the latest weekly data on performance at 35 Emergency Departments in the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s Winter Flow Project, Dr Adrian Boyle, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said:
“Data from the Winter Flow project is beginning to signal a return to pre-pandemic levels or ‘normality’ in Emergency Departments.
“But the pressures on Emergency Departments were unacceptable before the pandemic and things were far from ‘normal’. We must not allow a return to this ‘normality’ which led to dangerous crowding and corridor care and long waits.
“In the frame of the pandemic, things are broadly stable and may continue to improve if attendances and admissions remain relatively low. However, broadly stable entails a level of performance that is a world away from what was once deemed acceptable.
“With the Spring Budget looming, the Government is presented with an opportunity deliver a health service which surpasses the pre-Covid performance baseline. Funds must be made available to recruit and train staff for our Emergency Departments, as well as retain and support an already beleaguered workforce.
“Additionally, many EDs are in desperate need of transformation and reconfiguration, having been designed for much smaller numbers of patients than what they now see. The chronic shortfall of beds should also be reversed if we are to ensure good patient flow through EDs and hospitals.
“The Chancellor must be bold this week and offer a financial package to the NHS that will go some way towards reversing over a decade of underfunding. Patients and staff deserve better than Emergency Departments where long waits are simply a fact of life.”