28 March 2022
Dr Katherine Henderson, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said:
“We welcome these reports as learning opportunities to reduce the tragedy of preventable harm to individuals and their families as well as the staff involved. As specialty leaders and standard setters, we must use the stories and themes identified in these reports to focus our guidance and teaching and sharpen our advocacy for a better system of care modelled to deliver patient needs.
“Reports like these highlight the gap between what should be the standard of care and the operational pressures the urgent and emergency care system is working under. While the responsibility for both ensuring Emergency Departments are adequately staffed with staff trained and qualified in Emergency Medicine and have the equipment needed and access to relevant inpatient specialties lies with those who plan healthcare services, every clinician must look through reports like these.
“We must all think how we can eliminate patient harm by improving our knowledge and skills, teach others, advocate for better diagnostic pathways and safety net systems. We must also get better at communicating risk and uncertainty realities to patients, so they feel involved and confident to return for review if things do not seem to be following the expected plan.
“The Royal College is committed to doing everything it can to improve patient safety and reduce the use of resources needed to manage patient harm.”
Notes to editor
NHS Resolution: Learning from Emergency Medicine compensation claims