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RCEM: A&E performance figures show summer admission rates now as high as winter

8 August 2019

Responding to A&E performance figures for July that show a record number of attendances, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Taj Hassan, said: “Emergency Departments and their wider systems continue to struggle badly at a time when previously system performance has been strong.

“While July saw a record number of attendances, we know that attendances usually increase in summer, so this is not unusual. What is unusual, is that we are now seeing admission rates that we would normally associate with winter.

“The chronically crowded ED, with patients having care delivered in corridors rather than beds, has become the norm due to a lack of capacity in hospitals and community. So it is somewhat commendable that the number of patients waiting longer than four and 12 hours to be admitted is not higher this month.

“The ever-increasing number of patients requiring admission will need to be properly addressed. The new money promised by the NHS Plan cannot come soon enough as long as it is targeted at the pressure points where it is most needed – acute bed capacity.

“The ongoing review of standards also continues to cause uncertainty for staff. The central aim must be to have system standards that maximise engagement of the hospital to create good flow. Anything less will increase the risk of crowding and harm in our EDs.”

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