27 September 2019
A new benchmarking report on the Emergency Medicine workforce has found that only one in six Emergency Departments had the minimum recommended number of consultants in 2017/18.
The Emergency Department Workforce Benchmarking Research Report, published jointly by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the NHS Benchmarking Network, gives an overview of the Emergency Medicine workforce, and provides definitive benchmarking comparisons for Emergency Department provision and performance.
Despite an overall increase in staffing levels since 2012/13, the report found many EDs were not meeting the minimum number or consultants or senior decision makers per 100,000 attendances.
Other findings in the report include:
Dr Taj Hassan, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “This report shows that the emergency care workforce remains under pressure, with increasing demand, rota gaps, high vacancy rates, trainee attrition and workforce burnout all contributing to the challenge of securing workforce stability.
“Despite an overall increase in our workforce, it is disappointing to see EDs are still struggling to have enough consultants; particularly when considering higher consultant levels are associated with better patient flow which also enhances safety.
“However, this report provides a helpful stocktake of current provision, providing evidence to support Trusts in their workforce planning.
“It should be used alongside RCEM recommendations which, if applied well, show that Trusts can create a better working environment, provide further incentives for staff to choose to work in emergency departments, and broaden the pool of staff used. Valuing and supporting clinical staff both medical and nursing in the most intense environment in acute healthcare is vital if we are to succeed.”
Stephen Watkins, Director of the NHSBN said: “We are delighted to share the findings of the workforce component of the Emergency Care benchmarking project.
“In 2018 almost all English and Welsh emergency departments participated in the project giving a unique insight into the operation of emergency departments.
“Benchmarking supports organisations by providing structured comparisons to help define and implement best practice. This work provides a unique evidence base to help improve patient care and develop new models of service delivery.”