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RCEM commend Emergency Medicine staff amid continued system pressures

3 February 2022

The latest Urgent and Emergency Care Daily Situation Report 2021-22 for the week ending 30 January 2022 shows:

  • One in five ambulances were delayed in offloading by 30 minutes or more
  • Bed occupancy remained high at 92.3%
  • On average nearly four in 10 patients residing in hospital for 21 days or more no longer met the criteria to reside each day
  • On average nearly six in 10 patients who were ready to be discharged remained in hospital each day

Commenting on these figures, Dr Katherine Henderson, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said:

“It may be welcome to see some very slight improvements in performance but improvements from rock bottom do not equate to much; the health service continues to face serious pressures. Ambulance offload delays remain high, preventing ambulance crews from returning to the community and responding to emergency calls. Meanwhile the number of long stay patients residing 21 days or more, particularly patients fit to be discharged, also continue to be exceptionally high.

“In the face of extremely challenging circumstances we applaud the hard work and dedication of all Emergency Medicine staff, who continue to deliver care and work to ensure the safety of patients. Under unprecedented pressures across the system, with huge swathes of staff absences related to covid, Emergency Medicine staff have, as always, ensured the lights stayed on and patients can be seen.

“The pandemic is not over and covid has by no means disappeared. Even before the pandemic we were seriously struggling with capacity and the current high bed occupancy figures continue to be made worse by covid. Trusts must do all they can to free up beds in the system and to improve timely discharge, to support Trusts, the government must urgently address the social care crisis and provide resources and support. Discharging patients in a timely way will free up beds and promote flow throughout the hospital, alleviating ambulance offload delays and Emergency Department waiting times.”


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