Royal College of Emergency Medicine Menu Menu

RCEM responds to public’s dissatisfaction with A&E services and wider NHS

30 March 2022

The British Social Attitudes Survey by Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund found that overall satisfaction with the NHS fell to 36 per cent “an unprecedented 17 percentage point decrease on 2020” and “the lowest level of satisfaction recorded since 1997, when satisfaction fell to 34 per cent.”

The reasons for the fall in satisfaction are given as:

  • Waiting times for GP and hospital appointments (65%)
  • Staff shortages (46%)
  • A view that the government does not spend enough money on the NHS (40%)

Satisfaction with Accident and Emergency Services fell by 15 percentage points, from 54% to 39%. Responding to this fall Dr Katherine Henderson, President of The Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said:

“It is disheartening to see that satisfaction with Accident and Emergency services has fallen to its lowest since a question on A&E was introduced in 1999, a fall of 15 percentage points from 54% to 39%. Sadly, though, it is not surprising. For months we have been highlighting the crisis that Urgent and Emergency Care services are facing, the significant threats to patient safety, the moral injury facing staff, the crowded Emergency Departments and long waiting times and the danger these pose.

“This has been met with little to no action by the UK Government. We have called for an Urgent and Emergency Care recovery plan to tackle the crisis and improve the situation, what we have been given are tents in carparks outside Emergency Departments.

“The dissatisfaction that the public feel with A&E services is understandable, Emergency Medicine staff are also wholly dissatisfied and tired of being unable to deliver the high-quality effective care they are trained to provide because of the lack of beds and staff in Emergency Departments, and the indifference shown by the UK Government.

“I commend all Emergency Medicine staff and all of The Royal College’s membership for their resilience and tireless efforts to do their best to keep patients safe and minimize harm in Emergency Departments in these extremely challenging and trying circumstances. The present state of Urgent and Emergency Care is dire, but their efforts are preventing the system from tipping completely.”

Back to top Back to top