25 March 2021
Responding to NHS England’s 2021/22 priorities and operational planning guidance published today, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Katherine Henderson said:
“We welcome the priorities for the year ahead laid out in NHS England’s operational planning guidance, and it is great to see some of our calls around Crowding, Access and Retention, as laid out in our RCEM CARES campaign, being prioritised for the year ahead.
“After the challenges of the past year, which saw an increase in staff suffering from stress and wider psychological problems, the health and wellbeing of our staff is at the forefront of our minds, so it is absolutely right for this to be a top priority for 2021/22. RCEM has long campaigned for better retention of staff, and better mental health support and wellbeing initiatives play their part in achieving this.
“Most welcome is the acknowledgment of the pressures in urgent and emergency care, and the plan to improve critical data collection and fully roll out the Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS). We are very pleased to see the importance given in the operational guidance to the collection of three particular metrics; 12-hour stays from time of arrival; time to initial assessment; and the time spent in an Emergency Department after being declared Clinically Ready to Proceed. This is a step towards getting rid of long stays in Emergency Departments, waiting for a bed and reducing ambulance offloading delays caused by exit block.
“It is our hope that these new metrics and the results of the consultation, combined with a focus on Same Day Emergency Care and expansion of NHS111 services, will help patients to get more appropriate and timely care, based on their needs.”