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‘Broken’ health system failing to tackle ‘unsustainable’ emergency care pressures

An integrated care system which has some of England’s worst waiting times for emergency care lacks “delivery structure and processes” to make desperately needed improvements, according to an external report.

Research by consultancy Prism into the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly integrated care system (ICS) concluded it had “unclear governance” for management and recovery of urgent and emergency care, with “multiple disconnected structures in place to manage tactical and strategic recovery of performance”.

The report comes as the ICS grapples with record waits for emergency care, with stroke and heart attack victims waiting three hours for an ambulance  and patients stuck for two days in Royal Cornwall Hospital’s emergency department.

The review was commissioned by the Cornwall Integrated Care Board to look at patient flow across the system and make recommendations about how this can be improved. 

Prism interviewed leaders from the organisations within the Cornish ICS. One leader described the system as “so broken”, while another commented that the role of the ICB in supporting and delivering urgent and emergency care “is not clear”.


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