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Next Government needs to tackle Corridor Care

Monday 3 June 2024

The shocking reality of so called ‘corridor care’ is a clear indicator of a health system under huge pressure and will only be ended if the bigger issues facing the NHS and social care are tackled by the next government.

That’s the response of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) to new research published by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) today (3 June 2024)

which saw almost 11,000 of its members share their most recent examples of having to treat patients in inappropriate areas.

It highlighted situations such as:

  • Patients being regularly treated on chairs on corridors for extended periods of time.
  • Corridor care becoming the norm in almost every area of hospitals.
  • Hospital staff being forced to deliver care in inappropriate settings.

With the RCN describing the situation as a ‘nation emergency’.

Responding, Dr Adrian Boyle, RCEM President:

“I hope these awful examples highlighted by the RCN make the impact they should on politicians and policy makers. As shocking as they are, treating patients in corridors, cupboards and carparks is the daily reality our members, and their colleagues, face every time they go to work.

“This shameful situation is one of the most visible indicators of a system under huge pressure and not functioning as it should.

“This issue does not exist in isolation, and order prevent it we must look at the bigger picture. And focus on getting to grips with the problems that exist at every stage – from the moment a person in distress calls an ambulance to the time they are well enough to be discharged – and beyond.

“The problems are all fixable, and one thing which would make and immediate and significant difference, is increasing the number of permanent, staffed ward beds. There must also be significant and substantial reform of social care so that people have the support they need in their communities before and after they attend hospital.

“The next government must prioritise these things immediately. Only then will we see an end to this disgraceful, dehumanising and dangerous situation.”

RCEM has published its own guidance related to crowding in Emergency Departments.



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