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RCEM welcomes NHS commitment to measure 12-hour waits from time of arrival in A&E

3 March 2022

Commenting on changes made to the NHS Standard Contract 2022/23 in response to consultation feedback, President of the Royal college of Emergency Medicine, Dr Katherine Henderson said:

“We welcome the amendment to the NHS Standard Contract 2022/23 which changes the way 12-hour waits in Emergency Departments (EDs) are calculated, with data to now be measured from point of arrival in A&E to discharge, admission or transfer, rather than from the decision to admit to admission. We expect NHS England to publish this data in full on a monthly basis; we see no reason why this should not be feasible from the start of the new financial year.

“We have long been calling for this change, and we are delighted to see this significant step towards greater transparency. The full publication of this data will be an immensely positive step that could be the catalyst for transformation of the Urgent and Emergency Care pathway that should help to improve the quality of care for patients.

“We know that long stays in Emergency Departments harm patients and long stays (usually due to lack of an available bed) have consequences for other patients; ambulances cannot transfer patients into the department, and then cannot back into the community, thereby putting further lives at risk.

“When published, together with NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care, we will be able to assess in full the state of Urgent and Emergency Care and both bring about and implement the changes that staff and patients urgently need.”

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