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Only a third of MPs believe that A&E departments are adequately resourced

Only a third of MPs believe that A&E departments are adequately resourced, according to a poll.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine reveals just 33% of MPs believe emergency departments have the resources they need to keep patients safe.

The poll of 92 MPs of all parties and regions of the UK also found strong support for a transformation fund for emergency departments with four times as many saying they would support such an initiative as oppose it.

Over 60% of MPs said they would support Emergency Departments (EDs) receiving more money to help with the retention and recruitment of staff.

Despite government claims that the NHS was getting more than the minimum £8bn by 2020 it had asked for, the poll found that only half of Conservative MPs believe that Emergency Departments are currently being adequately resourced.

President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Taj Hassan said: “This is surely now the time for the Government to act. The struggling NHS is currently the number one issue for people in this country and this poll shows a large majority of MPs – across all parties – believe urgent action is needed to address the lack of resources that is threatening patient safety.

“At present staff are struggling with just where to put patients – bed occupancy levels are far higher than the safe limit of 85%. This is unacceptable and is resulting in misery for our patients and added stress for our staff; the need for more beds is clear.

“But equally important is getting our staffing levels right. We estimate that the NHS in England is short of approximately 2500 emergency medicine consultants. The increase in attendances in the last 5 years is equivalent to the workload of 10 extra medium sized departments in England alone.

“Only by providing more staff and improving our retention rate will we approach being able to attain levels that will provide stable, sustainable working patterns for the staff, and provide the best quality service for our patients.”

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has been playing down the chances of additional public sector funding ahead of the budget on Wednesday.

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