Hospital Dr News

AMRC launches guidance on how to cope with NHS winter pressures

New guidance has been issued to clinicians and hospital managers about the best way to cope with the additional pressures caused by the colder weather.

For the first time, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has produced a ten point plan which is intended to provide practical remedies to help with the increase in admissions.

The points include:

  • Asking all hospital staff to recognise that ‘it is everyone’s problem’ and is not just limited to staff working in Emergency Departments even though that is where the pressure is most visible
  • Reminding doctors that patient care comes before targets
  • Managers too should lend a hand when and if they can. The simple act of “organising a pizza delivery for hard-pressed doctors and nurses can buy an awful lot of goodwill”, it says.

With much of the health and social care system operating at or near to full capacity for much of the year, the additional strain on resources caused increased number of admissions of frail and elderly patients with flu, injuries, heart attacks and strokes, as well as children with upper respiratory tract infections, can take hospitals to breaking point.

The AMRC recognises that the guidance will not fix the problems, but may go some way towards providing practical help.

Professor Carrie MacEwen, Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said: “The quality of care patients receive must always be our first concern. All the signs are there that it is going to be a tough winter for everyone, that’s patients as well as all hospital staff, not just doctors.

“With the health and social care system already under-resourced we must all do what we can to help.

“Many of our members have produced practical guidance, which, along with the work that has been produced by NHS Improvement and the Care Quality Commission is brought together in this guidance.”

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