24 June 2020
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has co-signed an open letter to the leaders of all UK political parties to call for a transparent rapid review of where we are and what needs to be done to prevent and prepare for a second wave.
RCEM recognises that hindsight is easy but feel that there are concerns that if acknowledged can inform what we do in the next few months and if/when a second wave of Covid-19 develops.
Throughout the pandemic so far, clinical leaders have had to fight quite hard to make their voices heard on behalf of frontline clinicians and patients. We believe that better engagement with us would have helped and might have avoided some of the problems we have seen.
PPE is one example of this. RCEM had to demand that the Emergency Department was recognised as a high risk clinical area and that PPE levels needed to be the same as in a critical care area. If we had been asked at the outset we would have been able to explain straightforwardly why this was the case and avoid some of the difficult communication issues that arouse around the PPE question and the loss of confidence that staff experienced. Going forward Emergency Departments continue to be a high risk area and PPE requirements will continue.