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RCEM responds to Secretary of State’s ‘Our Plan for Patients’

22 September 2022

Responding to the announcement by the Health and Social Care Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister Thérèse Coffey, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Katherine Henderson said:

“We welcome the new Health Secretary, and we welcome this first step in her efforts to put the NHS and social care on a resilient footing. It is right to put patients first, healthcare staff do this every day, and we look forward to tracking the progress of Our Plan for Patients and seeing the detail of subsequent steps.

“However, the Health and Social Care Secretary’s ABCD approach overlooks two crucial letters: EM. The whole system is in crisis and Emergency Medicine is at the heart of it. The first step to tackling the crisis is to be transparent about the scale of the problem. NHS England must publish the 12-hour length of stay data from time of arrival in Emergency Departments as part of their monthly performance statistics.

“All health care staff want to deliver for patients. But, as the Health Secretary will know, there is currently a significant shortfall of senior decision makers across all specialties in the NHS, including in both Emergency Medicine and General Practice, along with shortfalls of junior doctors, essential nurses and supporting staff.

“To truly tackle this crisis and make patient care a priority, the Health Secretary should bolster the social care workforce; publish the fully-funded long-term NHS workforce plan that this government pledged to deliver; and create 13,000 beds in the system.”

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