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RCEM calls on hospital boards to take action as first critical incident of winter declared

6 November 2019

The President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Katherine Henderson, has urged hospital boards to take immediate action to reduce crowding in Emergency Departments this winter.

Dr Henderson said: “RCEM is extremely concerned about what we are hearing from our Members and Fellows about crowded Emergency Departments throughout the UK.

“As the declaration of a critical incident at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust shows, winter has clearly arrived after minimal let up over the summer.

“Most departments are struggling to admit patients into hospital beds, and offload ambulances. The result is that sick and elderly and frail people are spending hours waiting on trolleys in a noisy, undignified environment.

“We are calling on hospital Boards take to take action. There must be a focus on creating capacity within the hospital to get sick patients out of the Emergency Department once they are ready to be admitted; long waits in emergency departments are associated with increased mortality.”

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