Today (21 June 2023) the National Audit Office (NAO) has published its ‘Access to unplanned or urgent care’ report.
Responding, Dr Adrian Boyle, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said:
“We welcome this detailed and comprehensive assessment of urgent and emergency care (UEC) which reinforces many of the issues RCEM has already highlighted; and we were glad to have been able to support the NAO in its development. The findings will not surprise anyone working in emergency medicine.
“Behind the graphs and statistics, there is a lot of avoidable misery, waiting, and frustration. Queues of ambulances in car parks, patients stranded on trolleys in corridors, delays in accessing beds – all clear indicators of a system not operating as it should.
“Emergency Departments are experiencing increases not only the number of people attending but also a rise in the proportion who are directed there by NHS 111. There are clear opportunities to improve this.
“Our members – and their patients – need adequately staffed and funded Emergency Departments. The Government must publish its workforce plan – including figures not just aspirations – and commit to properly resourcing this vital area of healthcare, and easing the current crisis.”