The NHS’s efforts to prop up emergency departments with thousands of additional medical staff has been the wrong approach to solving the crisis in these services, experts have argued.
Analysis of NHS staffing data by HSJ shows the emergency care medical workforce has grown by almost two-thirds since 2016, far outstripping the growth in other specialties. Despite this, waiting times in accident and emergency have deteriorated significantly over the same period.
John Appleby, chief economist at the Nuffield Trust think tank, said: “Cramming the A&E department with more doctors doesn’t look like it’s having the intended effect over the last four to five years. Waiting times have got worse and we have more staff.
“Increasing staffing has helped with waiting times in the past, but maybe we have reached a point where it’s not staffing in A&E which is the issue. The issue is the front door and the backdoor of the A&E.”
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Source: HSJ, 17 March 2023