27 May 2021
Commenting on the increase in pressures across the health system, Dr Katherine Henderson, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said:
“The evidence is clear; the entire health system is facing challenging and intense pressures. Our colleagues in primary care have stated that they had a record number of booked appointments in March and are now at risk of being overwhelmed. Emergency Departments across the country are also facing intense pressures and seeing a major increase in attendances.
“There is no doubt that these are connected. The entire health system needs urgent support to cope with this rise in pressures and demand. Any approach must be holistic, otherwise if GPs are overwhelmed, patients may attend Emergency Departments, if Emergency Departments are then overwhelmed, elective care could suffer severely and treatment for elective care patients could be further delayed.
“We urgently need a frank discussion about how our health service can manage the current pressure and a plan to ensure that our health service can continue essential services across primary care, emergency care and elective care. With the threat of a further wave of covid looming, we need effective action now before it is too late. The health service must be prepared for anything that lies ahead.”
Notes to Editor