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RCEM Wales responds to worst ever performance in Emergency Departments

19 December 2019

RCEM Wales Vice President: “Low levels of performance in November does not bode well for the rest of the Winter.”

Emergency care statistics released today by the Welsh Government reveal the worst ever performance in Emergency Departments since records began.

Data for November 2019 show that only 68.7% of patients were seen within the four-hour target in major departments. This is a decrease of 6.9 percentage points since November 2018. This month’s data represents the worst ever performance figures since records began. The NHS in Wales is also experiencing record breaking levels of long waits.

The number of patients waiting 12 hours or more in Emergency Departments was 5,848. This represents an increase of 64.5% since November 2018.

Dr Jo Mower, Vice President of RCEM Wales said: “Emergency Departments across Wales are now experiencing record low levels of performance. I have worked as a Consultant in Emergency Medicine for 15 years now and during that time I have witnessed patient admissions soar across Emergency Departments in Wales”

“The fact that we’re seeing record low levels of performance in November does not bode well for the rest of the Winter. We started this season from a low baseline as deteriorating performance has been a feature of 2019, particularly during the summer when we would expect to see some respite from increasing attendances”

“The increase in long waits particular should be a cause for grave concern. We know that there is evidence that suggests that long waits in hospital corridors puts patient safety at risk. The general reduction of staffed beds across the NHS in Wales means that we cannot admit patients from the Emergency Department as quickly as we would like to, resulting in overcrowding, trolley waits, and corridor-based care”

“The extension of the Emergency Department Wellbeing and Home Safe service delivered by the British Red Cross will go some way in addressing the Exit Block and crowding that we inevitably face this winter.”

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