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RCEM Annual Quality Report 2020-21

The COVID pandemic has created the most challenging time the NHS has ever seen on a background of limited resources and a recruitment and retention crisis. Emergency Medicine has been at the forefront of highlighting these issues in the last few years. This report identifies ongoing concerns which include staffing shortages, overcrowding, workforce burnout, bullying and harassment, time to train and service reconfiguration. These have a direct impact on the workforce, quality of training and patient care. There is also an opportunity to evidence and learn from great practice and initiatives that have flourished like wellbeing leadership, robust teaching and training, annualised rotas, mentoring and clinical educator time.

RCEM has remained  committed in its approach to improve the working lives of its members and it’s future workforce. A number of projects have come together to make very real change to the way we support and train the EM workforce; the new curriculum ensures those completing training are able to demonstrate the skills needed to be effective and resilient consultants, the EMLeaders programme supports this to make leadership skills explicit around improving self, teamwork and service development, Clinical Educators in ED research shows benefit to both trainees and trainers in EM and widened flexibility, equality and diversity initiatives ensure inclusion and fairness in the workforce.

The AQR brings clarity to the current state of training in Emergency Medicine. There remain significant concerns facing the workforce but the launch of the new curriculum, embedding leadership and clinical education show tangible evidence of change. Further recommendations from the report for 21/22 include:

  • the start of systematic, systemic, and progressive quality improvement in EM training with annual quality reports.
  • sharing of best practice; mandated TSC attendance for Heads of School, shared learning with specialty tutors
  • addressing Bullying and Harassment; TSC workshops and regional dissemination
  • further work on flexibility and equality in the workforce
  • wellbeing schemes and strategies to reduce workforce burnout

It is a credit to RCEM and its members that during the most challenging time the NHS has ever experienced, work is ongoing improve the quality of EM training for trainees, trainers and safety and care for patients.

The full report can be viewed here

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