Hospital Dr News

RCEM calls for extra consultants as part of new emergency medicine strategy

A royal college is calling for an extra 2,200 emergency medicine consultants to reach safe, sustainable staffing levels as part of its plan to improve emergency care for patients.

It’s part of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s new strategy, Vision 2020, to fix the problems facing emergency medicine in England.

Focusing on three main areas – Staffing, Systems and Support – the strategy also calls for:

  • at least 100 extra training places per annum for at least four years
  • over 5,000 more hospital beds in England alone to get bed occupancy rates back to safe levels
  • the co-location of vital care services around emergency departments
  • a redirection of the £1.3m being spent each week on locum agency staff in England into an emergency care transformation programme.

Dr Taj Hassan, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said: “We know that last winter saw the worst performance for over 15 years. We cannot allow the situation to continue to deteriorate each year.

“With preparations already underway for the forthcoming winter, we believe that the measures within our strategy will halt further decline, and allow emergency departments to thrive in the long term.”

Put together with insights from many of the College’s 6000 professional members, the RCEM Vision 2020 is intended to be a ‘roadmap’ for improving emergency medicine.

The strategy details the 10 keys areas of work that must be tackled, including training and careers, the sharing of information and best practice combined with the elimination of exit block.

Hassan added: “Another key element of our plan is getting our systems setup and appropriately resourced to tackle exit block – a must to ensure patient safety.

“At present, there simply isn’t enough capacity in the system to cope with demand, yet despite the continual growth in demand, we seem to want to constantly scale back our supply – a situation that will worsen with Sustainability & Transformation Partnerships in England.

“We desperately need more beds to relieve pressure.”

“We urge policy makers to consider and act on the points made within the RCEM Vision 2020, in order to guarantee safety, and sustainability of care for our patients.”

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