23 March 2023
Responding to the latest Emergency Department performance figures for February 2023 for Wales, Dr Suresh Pillai, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Wales, said:
“We welcome the improvement in Emergency Department performance shown in February’s data. The reduction in patients facing four-, eight- and 12-hour waits is a testament to the hard and skilled work of Emergency Medicine staff who continue to tackle the crisis in Emergency Care.
“While we welcome this improvement, the situation remains serious. Exit block – where patients cannot be admitted from the Emergency Department to a bed because out of the limited bed base, many are taken up by patients who are unable to be discharged in a timely way causing a ‘traffic jam’ in the system – remains a significant issue in Emergency Departments in Wales. On the ground we continue to face severe problems around flow throughout our hospitals and delays to patient care. We must see faster and more tangible action around discharging patients and social care.
“We are pleased to have met with the Health Minister, Eluned Morgan MS. We recognise that there is the political will to engage with the issues facing Emergency Care. The Welsh Government is focused on delivering the six-goal programme. As part of this they are appointing Clinical Leads for each of the Six Goals with some overlap instead of the current model of one for all Unscheduled Care. We look forward to engaging with these Leads and would be pleased to continue engaging with the Health Minister and the Welsh Government and have further such meetings.
“There is an ongoing retention and recruitment crisis in Emergency Medicine in Wales. Our workforce census, published earlier this year, made this clear. Not only are junior doctors’ continuing to be stretched, but difficulties in recruiting persist. It is vital that both retention and recruitment in Emergency Medicine is recognised and made a priority by the Welsh government, otherwise Emergency Care will remain in crisis to the detriment of patients and existing staff.”
Notes to editor
RCEM Wales: Emergency Medicine Workforce Census 2023