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RCEM Wales Vice President: “There is an urgent need to eliminate crowding”

21 November 2019

Emergency care statistics released today by the Welsh Government reveals declining performance in Emergency Departments across Wales.

Data for October 2019 show that only 69.7% of patients were seen within the four-hour target in major departments. This represents a decrease of 5.7 percentage points when compared to October 2018. The number of patients waiting 12 hours or more in an emergency care facility was 5,547. This is an increase of 1594 patients when compared to October 2018.

Dr Jo Mower, Vice President of RCEM Wales said: “I became a Consultant in Emergency Medicine in 2004 and since then we have seen attendances and patient admissions soar across the 13 Type 1 Emergency Departments in Wales.

“The reduction of community beds in Wales means that we cannot admit patients from the Emergency Department as quickly as we would like to, resulting in crowded wards and corridor-based care. As Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine in Wales I know staff morale in our Emergency Departments is at an all-time low as a result of this crowding. There is an urgent need to eliminate crowding to help improve staff morale and patient experience when attending an Emergency Department.

“Unlike England our 12-hour breeches are measured from the time a patient arrives at the Emergency Department. In England the time to a 12-hour breech is measured once there has been a decision to admit the patient, which could be several hours after arrival.”

“We’ve started this Winter from a very low baseline as there has been no respite from the increasing attendances over the summer. 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 will inevitably face this winter.”

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