23 October 2019
In response to the Care Quality Commission’s 2018 Urgent and Emergency Care Survey, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Katherine Henderson said:
“We are pleased to see minor improvements in some areas of patient experience of urgent and emergency care. The increase in the proportion of patients who felt they had enough time with their doctor or nurse to discuss their condition fully is particularly pleasing.
“Overall, patient satisfaction remains quite high which is welcome recognition for the work our staff do. Patients are still very supportive of our staff and emergency departments and understand the challenges hospitals face.
“However, there is always room for improvement. The increase in the proportion of patients reporting a wait of more than four-hours unfortunately reflects national data and must be improved. This in part can be achieved by wider system recognition that these waits are everyone’s responsibility, not just that of the Emergency Department.
“There has also been a decline in less than a third of patients spoke to a doctor or nurse within 15 minutes of arrival – a fundamental standard of initial assessment from the College – which is concerning from a clinical perspective.
“This is likely the consequence of having too few staff – specifically nurses – to be able to see all within this important time-frame; filling the record number of vacancies within the NHS must be a priority for NHSE and the Department of Health and Social Care.”