Jump to content

Search the hub

Showing results for tags 'Accident and Emergency'.


More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Start to type the tag you want to use, then select from the list.

  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • All
    • Commissioning, service provision and innovation in health and care
    • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    • Culture
    • Improving patient safety
    • Investigations, risk management and legal issues
    • Leadership for patient safety
    • Organisations linked to patient safety (UK and beyond)
    • Patient engagement
    • Patient safety in health and care
    • Patient Safety Learning
    • Professionalising patient safety
    • Research, data and insight
    • Miscellaneous

Categories

  • Commissioning, service provision and innovation in health and care
    • Commissioning and funding patient safety
    • Digital health and care service provision
    • Health records and plans
    • Innovation programmes in health and care
    • Climate change/sustainability
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    • Blogs
    • Data, research and statistics
    • Frontline insights during the pandemic
    • Good practice and useful resources
    • Guidance
    • Mental health
    • Exit strategies
    • Patient recovery
  • Culture
    • Bullying and fear
    • Good practice
    • Occupational health and safety
    • Safety culture programmes
    • Second victim
    • Speak Up Guardians
    • Staff safety
    • Whistle blowing
  • Improving patient safety
    • Clinical governance and audits
    • Design for safety
    • Disasters averted/near misses
    • Equipment and facilities
    • Error traps
    • Health inequalities
    • Human factors (improving human performance in care delivery)
    • Improving systems of care
    • Implementation of improvements
    • International development and humanitarian
    • Safety stories
    • Stories from the front line
    • Workforce and resources
  • Investigations, risk management and legal issues
    • Investigations and complaints
    • Risk management and legal issues
  • Leadership for patient safety
    • Business case for patient safety
    • Boards
    • Clinical leadership
    • Exec teams
    • Inquiries
    • International reports
    • National/Governmental
    • Patient Safety Commissioner
    • Quality and safety reports
    • Techniques
    • Other
  • Organisations linked to patient safety (UK and beyond)
    • Government and ALB direction and guidance
    • International patient safety
    • Regulators and their regulations
  • Patient engagement
    • Consent and privacy
    • Harmed care patient pathways/post-incident pathways
    • How to engage for patient safety
    • Keeping patients safe
    • Patient-centred care
    • Patient stories
  • Patient safety in health and care
    • Care settings
    • Conditions
    • Diagnosis
    • High risk areas
    • Learning disabilities
    • Medication
    • Mental health
    • Men's health
    • Patient management
    • Social care
    • Transitions of care
    • Women's health
  • Patient Safety Learning
    • Patient Safety Learning campaigns
    • Patient Safety Learning documents
    • Patient Safety Learning news archive
    • 2-minute Tuesdays
    • Patient Safety Learning Annual Conference 2019
    • Patient Safety Learning Annual Conference 2018
    • Patient Safety Learning Awards 2019
    • Patient Safety Learning Interviews
    • Patient Safety Learning webinars
  • Professionalising patient safety
    • Accreditation for patient safety
    • Competency framework
    • Medical students
    • Patient safety standards
    • Training
  • Research, data and insight
    • Data and insight
    • Research
  • Miscellaneous
    • Health care
    • Social care
    • Jobs and voluntary positions
    • Suggested resources

News

  • News

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start
    End

Last updated

  • Start
    End

Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


First name


Last name


Country


Join a private group (if appropriate)


About me


Organisation


Role

Found 334 results
  1. Content Article
    University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust identified two main solutions: Annualised self-rostering/self-preferencing rotas so staff had more control over their working hours. Introduction of a clinical fellow role with 25% non-clinical time to allow these staff to undertake other projects – for example, teaching medical students. These two solutions were initially started for the A&E departments and then medical juniors whilst implementing the same systems but also allowing for continuity of ward care. The Trust decided to use the HealthRota system, to implement an annualised system for consultants (using a period-of-activity contract), middle grades (using a combination of period-of-activity and hours contract) and junior rotas (using hourly contracts), alongside self-rostering or self-selecting preferences, with staff choosing the amount of clinical work they wish to do. The Trust now benefits from 24/7 A&E consultant cover at Brighton, and cover between 8am and 10.30pm every day of the week at the Princess Royal Hospital. In five years, the Trust went from seven consultants and seven registrars on A&E (for two sites) to 23.8 full-time equivalent consultants and 20 registrars. In addition, the costs of using locum doctors have been massively curtailed. For example, before the annualised rota system was introduced, in A&E alone £1.3M was spent on locums at RSCH and PRH. For 2022-23, the only locum need has been for sickness cover.
  2. Content Article
    NHS services are under extreme pressure. Recent testimonies from healthcare professionals, patients and journalists have highlighted the scale of these problems, which go significantly beyond the usual increase in pressure over the winter period. One key area of concern is a lack of hospital bed capacity, which as noted by the Nuffield Trust, is an important indicator of wider pressure on the system: "Hospitals cannot operate at 100% occupancy, as spare bed capacity is needed to accommodate variations in demand and ensure that patients can flow through the system. Demand for hospital beds peaks at different times of the day, week and year. There must be enough beds to accommodate these peaks. A lack of available beds can have widespread consequences in a health system.”[1] An absence of spare bed capacity can significantly impact a hospitals ability to provide safe and timely care. This also has consequences for other parts of the system, such as increased ambulance waiting times because of handover delays. There are multiple causes of these capacity issues: Longer-term structural challenges – such as the number of hospital beds relative to the population and workforce shortages.[2] Medium-term issues – for example the impact of delayed discharges. Short-term problems – such as increases in admissions of patients with seasonal illnesses. In this blog we will consider two specific issues stemming from this lack of hospital bed capacity and consider their impact on patient safety: Increasing cases of patients being cared for in hospital corridors and non-clinical areas, commonly referred to as ‘corridor care’. Current proposals to reduce the number of patients waiting to be discharged. Increasing cases of ‘corridor care’ ‘Corridor care’ can be broadly defined as care being provided to patients in corridors, non-clinical areas or unsuitable clinical areas because of a lack of hospital bed capacity. In recent years this has become an increasing occurrence as pressures and demands on the NHS mount, particularly during the winter months. In February 2020, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) highlighted its concerns about this becoming normalised, publishing a survey of its members that found that over 90% of respondents said that ‘corridor nursing’ was being used at their Trust.[3] [4] In March 2020, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) also raised this issue as part of a broader campaign around improving emergency care, highlighting the need to significantly increase the number of hospital beds in the NHS.[5] However, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, infection control and social distancing rules restricted the use of ‘corridor care’ in hospitals.[6] When providing guidance for emergency care after the initial Covid period, the RCEM reiterated the threats to patient and staff safety from crowding in emergency departments and emphasised the need to avoid a return to corridor care becoming the norm.[7] However, in recent months we have seen growing concerns about a significant increase in care being provided in corridors and non-clinical settings.[8] [9] [10] [11] [12] Patient safety risks Corridor care raises significant patient safety concerns. It can present problems providing appropriate care, as these unsuitable spaces can make it difficult to administer specific treatments, such as intravenous medication, or the ability to access oxygen, medication and lifesaving treatment in an emergency. It also makes it more difficult to monitor patients, which can result in delays in providing further treatment if their condition begins to deteriorate. The constraints on space that working in these conditions impose may mean that relatives are not able to be accommodated, reducing their ability to support patients whose condition may not otherwise be closely monitored. This lack of space can also result in physical hazards, with the potential for escape routes becoming blocked in emergencies.[13] Corridor care also has particularly negative impact on patient dignity and confidentiality: “Our overflow corridor never has fewer than 20 patients on it; people who are too unwell to sit in the waiting room. The corridor is made up of trolleys of patients lined up, top to toe, along a wall. It’s busy, it’s noisy and there’s no dignity there. Patients stuck there are being toileted behind staff holding up sheets on the corridor.”[14] Working in these conditions has a significant impact on healthcare professionals too, who know that they are not able to provide the best care possible to their patients. This can affect their mental health and wellbeing creating the risk of moral injuries: the distress experienced when circumstances clash with one’s moral or ethical code.[15] “Tonight I’ve come close to tears whilst apologising to patients for the standards of care we are able to provide. In my 22 years of being an A&E doctor I’ve never seen things so bad. It’s the same everywhere.”[16] Preventing avoidable harm Patient Safety Learning believes that corridor care should be avoided whenever possible. It is vital that this is not normalised. However, in the current circumstances, in some cases this is clearly unavoidable. In these situations, it is important that: Risk assessments are carried out for service redesign and for individual patients, with mitigating actions being taken to maintain the safest care possible. Trusts have clear guidance and apply learning from examples of good practice that prioritise patient safety. Trusts have plans in place to ensure the introduction of corridor care is only a temporary measure. Staff and patients report any incidents of unsafe care so that action can be taken swiftly to address harm or near misses. There is close oversight by Trust leadership, including the Board, to ensure that patient safety safeguards are in place if corridor care is needed and that this is minimised and not normalised. We also believe more research is needed to fully understand the consequences of corridor care in terms of patient outcomes as well as patient safety. There needs to be more research undertaken to evaluate the impact of this. Reducing the number of patients waiting to be discharged Having considered the patient safety impact of corridor care because of lack of hospital capacity, we now turn to current proposals aimed at increasing capacity by reducing the number of patients waiting to be discharged. Hospital discharges can be complex. To enable a safe and timely transfer of care, they require good co-ordination between hospital and community staff to arrange clinical assessments and to ensure the home or community setting has the appropriate equipment and care plans. A delayed discharges refers to a patient who no longer meets the clinical criteria to reside in hospitals and, therefore, should be discharged to non-acute settings. The Department of Health and Social Care has recently stated that there are around 13,000 patients meeting this description.[17] These patients may end up spending a significant amount of time waiting to be discharged for a range of different reasons: Lack of available places in care and nursing homes. Delays putting in place specialist support, such as home care or short-term rehabilitation, required following discharge. The need to ensure specific criteria for a safe discharge are met for patients who need to access ongoing mental health services and support. The need to ensure that complex needs are met prior to discharge, for example in some cases concerning patients with a learning disability, where these processes may involve a range of different professionals and specialist assessments. Reducing the number of delayed discharges is not a new policy idea, but in recent weeks it has received increased attention as this has been identified as a key measure to increase hospital bed capacity resulting in several new proposals aimed at achieving this. Patient safety risks Any measures aimed at increasing the speed of hospital discharges must have at their heart considerations of how this will impact on the safety of patients and the need to prevent avoidable harm. Below we consider some of the proposals that have recently been made in relation to this and their potential impact on patient safety. 1. Discharging patients without care packages The Welsh Government has recently issued new guidance to Health Boards to discharge patients who are well enough to leave even if they do not have a package of care in place.[18] A package of care is intended to meet a patient’s ongoing care needs, which may relate to healthcare, personal care or care home costs, following discharge. Without this in place, there is a significantly increased risk of avoidable harm, particularly for patients returning to their own homes. Not having in place required adaptations, equipment or access to rehabilitation could result in patients struggling to support themselves, increasing the risk of avoidable harm and re-admission to hospital. Commenting on this proposal, Dr Amanda Young, Director of Nursing Programmes at the Queen’s Nursing Institute, also highlighted concerns that: “… patients being discharged from hospital without appropriate care packages, or inadequate support or reablement, results in poorer outcomes in the short and longer term. Discharges may occur late in the evening with no advance warning to community services, in order to free up hospital beds. Vulnerable people may arrive to cold homes, alone, with community services unaware this has happened until the following day or even the day after.”[19] This also opens up the potential for inconsistent decision-making, transferring significant risk to individual healthcare professionals who may be under significant organisational pressures to make discharge decisions that they don’t believe are safe. 2. Funding additional care home beds The Department of Health and Social Care has announced £200 million in funding to buy thousands of extra beds in care homes and other settings to help discharge more patients who are fit to leave hospital and free up hospital beds.[17] The Scottish Government has also announced a similar package, stating it will provide £8 million in funding for additional care home beds.[20] While these announcements have been welcomed in some places, there are concerns about the ability of the social care system to fulfil this, with a key problem being staff shortages. In England alone it is estimated that there are 165,000 vacant posts in social care.[21] Serious concerns have been raised about how appropriate care can be provided where additional beds may be available but staff are not.[22] [23] In many cases this could lead to this additional bed capacity not being utilised, due to lack of staffing, or is utilised despite under-staffing, increasing the potential risk of avoidable harm. Considering this new funding in the context of these workforce shortages, Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “… there has been little consultation with the social care sector on how this can be achieved. Yet again, the Government has talked to the NHS and pretty much nobody else, and this is why their policies never work.”[24] There is also a question about whether patients subject to these accelerated discharge processes will receive the appropriate support they need. Integrated Care Boards will be tasked with using this new national funding for hospital discharges to purchase bedded step down capacity plus associated clinical support for patients.[25] However, concerns have been raised about the potential for rushed placements stemming from this, without appropriate access to rehabilitation and enhanced healthcare, which may increase the risk of patient harm.26] The British Geriatrics Society has noted that this could disproportionately impact older patients: “When older people leave hospital in poor health, they need rehabilitation and support to recover. Without it, their health deteriorates further – already on average 15% of older people being discharged from hospital are readmitted within 28 days. With each admission their level of frailty and care needs increase, generating even more demand for health and social care at home or in a care home.”[27] There have also been practical concerns raised questioning whether this funding can be effectively distributed, and extra beds provided quickly enough, to reduce the current pressures. There are further concerns too around how this is being targeted, with the provision of funding being “decided on a ’weighted population basis‘, rather than adjusted to reflect the current share of delayed discharge patients”.[28] [29] Preventing avoidable harm Patient Safety Learning believes that decisions on the introduction of new measures aimed at accelerating hospital discharges and freeing up hospital bed capacity must have patient safety considerations at their core. Whether they involve discharging patients at an earlier stage without care packages, or increased funding to move patients into care homes, all elements of these changes must be considered through a lens maintaining the safety of patients. This includes ensuring: Patients return home, or move to a care setting, with the correct medications and medical devices. Appropriate handover of information for patients is provided when moving from hospital directly into care settings. Appropriate equipment/adaptations being in place for patients returning home. Patients and their responsible carers have access to timely clinical advice if there is deterioration in the patient’s health, and guidance on the signs and symptoms that may indicate this. Patients and their families are decision makers in their own care and have access to information and advice to enable this. Concluding comments The shortage of hospital bed capacity has a wide range of consequences across the healthcare system with implications for patient safety. Here we have focused on the need to ensure that in two specific areas – managing the increase in cases of corridor care and reducing the numbers of patients waiting to be discharged – patient safety is being placed at the heart of decision-making processes around both. In addition to the areas we have identified, ensuring this happens also requires patient safety leadership at a national level. While far from a desirable state of affairs, corridor care is taking place in parts of the NHS and will continue to do so for the foreseeable period, meaning its impact on patient safety must be understood and mitigated where possible. We believe there needs to be recognition of this from NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care, along with a proactive effort to share and disseminate knowledge and good practice in this area to prevent avoidable harm to patients. We also believe it is important that there is both a recognition and inclusion of patient perspectives and experience of these issues. This particularly applies to hospital discharge processes, which too often are either discussed as purely a capacity problem or worse disparagingly an issue caused by ‘bed-blockers’.[30] [31] It is vital that we hear and listen to the patients and family members voices on changes aimed at accelerating discharge processes. We need to recognise that these situations involve individuals with specific ongoing healthcare needs who, as well as the safe provision of care, deserve dignity and respect. Share your views and experiences We would welcome your views on the patient safety concerns raised in this blog: Are you a healthcare professional who has experience of delivering corridor care and would like to share your story? Are you a patient or family member who has experience of corridor care or a delayed discharge process? Do you work in social care and have experience of, or concerns about, accelerated discharge processes from hospitals? You can share your views and experiences with us directly by emailing content@pslhub.org or by commenting below (register here for free to activate your membership). References Nuffield Trust, Hospital bed occupancy: We analyse how NHS hospital bed occupancy has changed over time, 29 June 2022. Nuffield Trust, Hospitals at capacity: Understanding delays in patient discharge, 3 October 2022. RCN, ‘Corridor care’ in hospitals becoming the new norm warns RCN, 26 February 2020. RCN, Corridor Care: Survey Results, 26 February 2020. RCEM, RCEM launches new campaign to end corridor care as data shows more than 100,000 patients waiting over 12 hours in A&Es this winter, 3 March 2020. Health and Social Care Select Committee, Delivering core NHS and care services during the pandemic and beyond, 1 October 2020. RCEM, Covid19: Resetting Emergency Department Care, Last Accessed 11 January 2023. Birmingham Live, ‘Worst I’ve ever seen it’: Doctor speaks out about horrors of patients in corridors as NHS crisis deepens, 3 January 2023. Health Service Journal, Trust that banned corridor care ‘reluctantly’ brings it back, 4 January 2023. iNews, Striking paramedics tell of patients having seizures in hospital corridors and relentless 16-hour shifts, 11 January 2023. BBC News, NHS A&E crisis: Staff making ‘difficult decisions in unprecedented times’, 7 January 2023. This is Local London, BHRUT boss apologises to patients ‘care for in corridors’, 11 January 2023. Health Service Journal, NHSE issues fire risk warning over ‘corridor care’, 29 November 2022. The Guardian, It’s beyond dreadful. We’re now running A&E out in the corridor and wating room, 12 January 2023. Health Education England and NHS England, Understanding moral injury a short film, 15 January 2021. The Guardian, ‘It feels terminal’: NHS staff in despair over working at breaking point, 4 January 2023. Department of Health and Social Care, Up to £250 million to speed up hospital discharge, 9 January 2023. Wales Online, Doctors claim hospital discharge guidance could see patients die, 6 January 2022. Nursing in Practice, Welsh hospital patients to be discharged to community with care package in place, 6 January 2023. Scottish Government, Additional Winter support for NHS, 10 January 2023. Skills for Care, The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, October 2022. The Times, Fears over plans to move patients into care homes, 10 January 2023. The Independent, Staffing ‘crisis’ means £200m extra care beds plan won’t work, health bosses warn, 10 January 2023. Community Care, Care home discharge plan risks inappropriate placements and neglects the causes of crisis – sector, 9 January 2023. NHS England, Hospital discharge fund guidance, 13 January 2023. The Health Foundation, Hospital discharge funding: why the frosty reception to new money?, 13 January 2023. British Geriatrics Society, Protecting the rights of older people to health and social care, 10 January 2023. Health Service Journal, New discharge fund risks being ‘political theatre’, warn NHS leaders, 9 January 2023. Health Service Journal, Revealed: How much is each ICS getting from the £200m discharge fund, 13 January 2023. Daily Mail, Hospitals are discharging bed-blockers into hotels to free up space on wards, 5 January 2023. iNews, NHS discharges patients into hotels to ease bed blocking and A&E crisis, 4 January 2023.
  3. Content Article
    The prompt cards cover: Trauma transfers and briefings Chest Injuries/ Rib Fractures Thoracotomy in Trauma Burns Chart and Considerations Initial Management of Severe Burns Arrival Checks Pre- Transfer Checks Trauma Imaging / Interventional Radiology Trauma/ASHICE Briefing Medical emergencies End of life care Post Exposure Prophalaxis Toxidromes Management of overdose Epistaxis pathway Emergency Laparotomy Assessment GI bleeds Eclamptic seizures Severe Pre-Eclampsia Malignant Hypertension Adrenal Insufficiency Prolonged Seizures/ Status Epilepticus Unexplained Hypotension Chest pain Pathway Life Threatening Asthma Diabetic Ketoacidosis Massive Pulmonary Embolism Hyperkalemia Sepsis Anaesthetics and resuscitation guidance ROTEM RIASTAP User Guide Code Red Haemhorage Guidance DAS can’t Intubate/Oxygenate Guidance Difficult Airway Society(DAS) Emergency RSI Checklist Checklist Rapid Sequence Induction (RSI) Anaphylaxis Algorithm Anaphylaxis External Pacing Adult Bradycardia Algorithm Emergency Direct Current Cardioversion Adult Tachycardia Algorithm Post resuscitation Care Algorithm Newborn life Support Peadiatric Major Haemhorrage Peadiatirc ALS Traumatic Cardiac Arrest Algorithm Adult ALS Sedation Checklist ROTEM results and interpretation Procedures Organ Donation Fascia Iliaca Block Chest Drain BTS Pneumothorax Guidence BiPAP Decision Tree & Setup Central Venous Catheter Insertion Medications Starting Vasoactive Medication Octaplex for Warfarin Reversal Salbutamol Infusion Naloxone Infusion Labetalol Infusion Aminophylline Infusion Clinical scores Wells Score for PE Wells Score for DVT of Pancreatitis Modified Glasgow Score for Severity HAS-BLED Score CURB-65 CHA2DS2-VASc Score Admission Blatchford Score
  4. News Article
    NHS staff are failing to follow guidelines for providing care to sickle cell patients - and some of the advice has been branded as “unfit for purpose”. The NHS Race and Health Observatory commissioned research, undertaken by Public Digital, to explore the lived experience of people undergoing emergency hospital admissions for sickle cell and managing crisis episodes at home. The Sickle cell digital discovery report: Designing better acute painful sickle cell care, found that the existence of service-wide information tailored by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has “arguably not been designed for an ambulance, A&E and emergency setting”, and states it has been proven that this guideline is “not being used and adhered to consistently”. Moreover, healthcare professionals have warned that the National Haemoglobinopathy Register (NHR) - a database of patients with red cell disorders - is not being readily accessed, while patients reported being treated in a way that breached prescribed instructions. “We believe that sickle cell crisis guidelines could be improved in terms of their usability in a high-pressure emergency setting, and in terms of promoting access to them,” the report authors concluded, adding that current guidance should be adapted. Read full story Source: The Independent, 31 January 2023
  5. News Article
    A major hospital in the UK has declared a critical incident, warning it is facing “immense pressures” on its services. Wigan’s Royal Albert Edward Infirmary urged people to avoid its A&E unless suffering a “life or limb-threatening emergency”. Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust warned that “unprecedented attendances” meant the emergency department was “full”. It said it is working with partners to discharge patients who are ready to leave hospital. The trust, which previously declared a critical incident in December, said the safety of its patients is the “top priority”. By declaring a critical incident, hospitals are able to take action so that safe services are maintained despite increasing pressures. Read full story Source: The Independent, 1 February 2023
  6. News Article
    Some ambulance trusts are not sending paramedics to up to around a quarter of their most serious calls, according to figures obtained by HSJ. HSJ submitted data requests to all 10 English ambulance trusts after the Care Quality Commission raised concerns about the proportion of category one calls not being attended by a paramedic at South Central Ambulance Service Foundation Trust. The regulator said in a report published in August last year that between November 2021 and April 2022 around 9% of the trust’s category one calls were not attended by a paramedic. Inspectors said this meant some patients “did not receive care or treatment that met their needs because there were not appropriately qualified staff making the decisions and providing treatment.” But data obtained via freedom of information requests reveals other ambulance trusts had far lower proportions of category one calls attended by paramedics than the South Central service last year. Read full story Source: HSJ, 2 February 2023
  7. News Article
    The amount of time people over 80 spend in A&E in England has almost doubled in a year, leaving them at increased risk of coming to harm and dying, emergency care doctors are warning. An analysis by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) found that people of that age are spending 16 hours in A&E waiting for care or a bed, a huge rise on the nine hours seen in 2021. The college, which represents the UK’s A&E doctors, warned that long waits, allied to overcrowding in hospitals and older people’s often fragile health, is putting them in danger. Doctors specialising in emergency and elderly care warned that older people forced to spend a long time in A&E are more likely to suffer a fall, develop sepsis, get bed ulcers or become confused. Dr Adrian Boyle, the RCEM’s president, said that it is also likely that some older people are dying as a result of the delays they are facing, combined with their often poor underlying health. The risks older people face while waiting in sometimes chaotic A&E units are so great that they are likely to be disproportionately represented among the 500 people a week who the RCEM estimates are dying as a direct result of delays in accessing urgent medical help. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 31 January 2023
  8. News Article
    The NHS will start publishing “hidden” figures on A&E waiting times following several leaks reported by The Independent. After unveiling its emergency care plan on Monday, NHS England confirmed it would release internal data each month - currently only made public once a year - showing how many people are waiting for longer than 12 hours after arriving at an emergency department. The Independent has published several leaks of this data, which shows that these waiting times can be up to five times higher than publicly available NHS figures. Official monthly figures only count the number of hours patients wait after a decision to admit them has been made, and so mask the true scale of the problem. The move comes after health secretary Steve Barclay said the NHS would, from April, publish this “real” number in a bid for “greater transparency.” Writing in The Telegraph, he said: “Too much of the debate about A&E and ambulance services is based on anecdotal evidence. I want NHS managers and the wider public to have access to the same facts from the front line, starting with publishing the number of 12-hour waits from the time of arrival in A&E from April.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 31 January 2023
  9. News Article
    The National Crime Agency and Interpol has been drafted in by detectives investigating a junior doctor accused of multiple sexual assaults on children and adults in A&E departments. Last year, Staffordshire police began an investigation into a 35-year-old medic's work at two hospitals, the Royal Stoke University Hospital in Staffordshire and the Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, West Midlands. Source: Sunday Times Shared by Shaun Lintern Tweet, 29 January 2023
  10. News Article
    NHS England has revealed a new intervention regime, as it seeks to deliver on its new urgent and emergency care recovery plan. Systems will be placed in three “tiers of intervention”, with those systems deemed “off-target on delivery” being given “tier three intensive support” from NHSE, which will include on-the-ground planning, analytical and delivery capacity, “buddying” with leading systems and “targeted executive leadership”. The approach follows that which has been taken over the past year for elective and cancer care recovery. The urgent care plan, published by NHSE and the Department of Health and Social Care today, says: “NHS England will identify and share good practice so that all can learn from the best. For those systems that are struggling, we will offer support to ensure that they have the best opportunities to drive improvement locally.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 30 January 2023
  11. Content Article
    DHSC and NHS England's delivery plan A. Increase capacity, to help deal with increasing pressures on hospitals which see 19 in 20 beds currently occupied. 1. Dedicated funding of £1 billion will pay for additional capacity, including 5,000 new beds as part of the permanent bed base for next winter. 2. Over 800 new ambulances, including 100 specialist mental health ambulances, the majority of which will be on the road by next winter. 3. ‘Same day’ emergency care services will be in place across every hospital with a major emergency department, so patients avoid unnecessary overnight stays. B. Grow the workforce, as increasing capacity requires more staff who feel supported. 4. More clinicians will be available for 111 online and urgent call services to offer support, advice, diagnosis and, if necessary, referral. From this April a new targeted campaign will be launched to encourage retired clinicians, and those nearing retirement, to work in 111 rather than leaving the NHS altogether. 5. The workforce will grow with more flexible ways of working and increase the number of Emergency Medical Technicians next year to respond to incidents and support paramedics. C. Speed up discharge from hospitals, to help reduce the numbers of beds occupied by patients ready to be discharged. 6. Over the next 2 years, and as part of the up to £14.1 billion extra for health and social care, £1.6 billion will be focused squarely on discharge. 7. ‘Care transfer hubs’ in every hospital ahead of next winter will mean faster discharge to the right setting, so that people do not stay in hospital longer than necessary. 8. This year, new approaches to step-down care will start to be implemented so, for example, people who need physiotherapy can access care as they are being discharged from hospital before they need to be assessed by their local authority for long-term care needs. 9. New discharge information will be published, with new data collected from this April. D. Expand new services in the community, as up to 20% of emergency admissions can be avoided with the right care in place. 10. Ahead of next winter the government will offer more joined-up care for older people living with frailty, including scaling urgent community response, frailty and falls services across the whole country – meaning the right people help you get the care you need, without needing an admission to hospital if it’s not necessary. 11. Greater use of ‘virtual wards’, which allow people to be safely monitored from the comfort of their own home, will be achieved by an extra 3,000 beds to provide over 10,000 in total by this autumn, allowing staff to care for up to 50,000 patients a month this way over the longer term. 12. Help people access the right care first time, as 111 should be the first port of call and reduce the need for people to go to A&E. By April 2024, urgent mental health support through NHS 111 will be universally available. 13. From this April, new data will allow the public to easily see and compare the performance of their local services. It will also tackle unwarranted variation in performance in the most challenged local systems. 14. This April, a new clinically-led programme to reduce unwarranted variation will launch, alongside intensive support for those areas struggling the most
  12. Content Article
    The census had responses from all 12 major Emergency Departments in Wales and found: There is one WTE Consultant per 7784 annual attendances, considerably less than the RCEM recommended figure of 1:4000. Of these 101 consultants, 19 are planning to retire in the next six years – a fifth of the consultant workforce. There were 90 gaps in the consultant rota, 33 in the middle grade rota and eight in the junior rota. Inability to recruit was the primary reason for rota gaps. This is leading to departments in Wales not meeting RCEM best practice recommendations of having an EM consultant presence for at least 16 hours a day in all medium and large systems. When asked for future staffing needs, departments across Wales reported needing an increase of 75% consultants, 120% increase in the ACP/ANP/PA workforce, 44% increase in the ENP workforce, 30% increase in the Higher Specialist Trainees/ Non-consultant Senior Decision Maker and a 50% increase in Junior Doctors in the next six years. The census also found that junior doctors were also being overstretched: At the time of collection there were 52 trainees in the ST1-6 programme as well as 95 non- Emergency Medicine trainees working in EDs across Wales Junior doctors work one weekend every three weekends, consultants work one weekend every 6.2 weekends. Junior doctors in training also do the most night shifts with an average of 52 per year.
  13. News Article
    Charging for GP appointments will worsen patient safety and drive more people to A&E, the head of a national safety watchdog has warned. Dr Rosie Benneyworth, the chief investigator for the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB), was responding to a suggestion by former health secretary Sajid Javid who said the present model of the NHS was “unsustainable”. He said “extending the contributory principle” should be part of radical reforms to tackle growing waiting times. But Dr Benneyworth said it would only drive more people to seek help from already overstretched services. She said: “I don’t want to be drawn into the politics around this but I believe in free at the point of delivery NHS and my concern would be [if] we charge people that people would not come forward early for their care and that would leave people needing more urgent and emergency care, because of delayed presentations.” Dr Benneyworth said there needed to be a bigger focus on patient safety in services outside of A&E, such as NHS 111 and out-of-hours services. Read full story Source: The Independent, 26 January 2023
  14. Content Article
    The Commission will draw up recommendations for reform in the following ten areas: The funding model for health and social care GPs and pharmacists Hospitals, waiting lists and maternity provision Social care Workforce—including recruitment, retention and training Cancer Obesity Mental health The role of new technology Health inequalities
  15. News Article
    NHS 111 sends too many people to accident and emergency departments because its computer algorithm is “too risk averse”, the country’s top emergency doctor has warned. Dr Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), said that December was the “worst ever” in A&E with 9 in 10 emergency care leaders reporting to the RCEM that patients were waiting more than 24 hours in their departments. Asked what measures could help improve pressures in emergency care, Dr Boyle said more clinical input was needed in NHS 111 calls. “In terms of how we manage people who could be looked after elsewhere, the key thing to do is to improve NHS 111,” Dr Boyle told MPs. “There is a lack of clinical validation and a lack of clinical access within NHS 111 - 50 per cent of calls have some form of clinical input, there’s an awful lot which are just people following an algorithm.” Dr Boyle added where clinical input is lacking “it necessarily becomes risk averse and sends too many people to their GP, ambulance or emergency department”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 24 January 2023
  16. News Article
    Manchester city council is setting up two special children’s homes to house the increasing number of vulnerable young people who end up stuck in hospital because no residential providers will take them. The homes, believed to be the first of their kind, aim to undercut private operators which sometimes demand tens of thousands of pounds each week to look after children with the most complex needs. Five Manchester children with complex emotional needs spent many weeks in hospital in 2022 because no children’s homes would take them because of their challenging behaviour, according to the city council’s director of children’s services. Manchester council has developed what it calls the Take a Breath model. Two houses are being renovated to house up to four children in total, with the first hopefully moving in by March. The idea is that when children first turn up at hospital – often at accident and emergency after a suicide attempt or self-harming incidents – once their injuries have been treated they can be discharged straight into the new homes rather than occupying a paediatric bed they do not need. Jointly commissioned by the council and the NHS, the two homes will cost £1.4m a year. Of that, MCC expects to spend £5,500 a week for each child. It represents a huge cost saving compared with some external placements. Last year the council was charged £16,550 a week by one private provider to look after a young profoundly autistic person with learning difficulties deemed a danger to themselves and to others. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 22 January 2023
  17. News Article
    The new national target to see 76% of A&E patients within four hours by March 2024 has been described as ‘extremely unambitious’ by senior emergency clinicians. Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, also told the Commons Health and Social Care Committee that the objective – included in NHS England planning guidance for 2023-24 and agreed with government – could also drive “perverse incentives” for some emergency department managers. The new target to admit, transfer or discharge 76% of patients by the end of 2023-24 is the first time a specific bar has been set against the four-hour standard for several years. In December, just three acute trusts were hitting the new 76% objective. But Dr Boyle told MPs: “The aspiration from NHS England is that we return to a four-hour target performance of 76%. We think that is too unambitious, and we think that is going to create all sorts of perverse incentives, because it’s going to encourage managers and senior clinicians just to focus on people who can be discharged from hospital, without dealing with our problem, which is exit block [people who cannot be admitted as wards are full]. “We think the 76 per cent is an extremely unambitious target. It was 95% – I know that’s going to be a long way to go back to and we haven’t achieved it since 2015, but we would say we need to have a trajectory to a higher target.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 24 January 2023
  18. News Article
    Being placed on immunotherapy to treat Stage 4 cancer was a life-saver for Imogen Llewellyn. Three years on, the 34-year-old is currently cancer-free, but said if it was not for specialist doctors, the side effects could have killed her. The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) claims Wales needs more oncology experts in A&E to recognise and treat emergencies. The Welsh government said all acute hospitals were expected to have an acute oncology service. The RCP report wants investment in emergency cancer care because of the sheer volume of patients who need urgent care during their treatment. With about a fifth of acute hospital beds occupied by people who have a cancer-related problems, they add that about a third of admissions could be avoided if same-day care were more widely available in Wales - which in turn would relieve pressure on hospitals. Dr Hilary Williams, consultant oncologist and Wales Cancer Network lead for acute oncology, said: "Wherever a patient lives in Wales, they should be able to access excellent acute oncology services. "When people think about cancer treatment, they might think about undergoing surgery or receiving chemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunotherapy in an organised way, perhaps during weekday hours in a specialist centre. But what happens when an emergency arises?" Read full story Source: BBC News, 24 January 2023
  19. News Article
    A record 350,000 patients waited more than 12 hours to be admitted to hospital from A&E last year, according to figures that raise fears about unsafe care as the NHS faces further waves of strike action. The figures, uncovered in an analysis by the Liberal Democrats, show a steep rise in delays since 2015, when just 1,306 patients waited 12 hours. Senior doctors described the situation as “unbearable” for patients and staff, ahead of a strike in which thousands of ambulance workers will walk out across England and Wales on Monday. The Liberal Democrat leader, Ed Davey, warned that frequent and lengthy delays in emergency medicine are “needlessly costing lives of patients” and said that the government is in “total denial” about the scale of the problem facing hospitals, social care and GP services. “The failure of the Conservative government to grip this crisis is simply unforgivable,” he said. “Instead they have shamefully allowed the situation to go from bad to worse through years of neglect and failure.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 23 January 2023
  20. News Article
    A growing number of patients deemed to require a hospital admission are waiting so long in A&E that they end up being discharged before being admitted to a ward, HSJ has been told. A senior emergency clinician, who has delivered improvement support to multiple emergency departments across the NHS, said such cases have become a regular occurrence – describing it as a “terrible experience” for some patients. The clinician, who asked not to be named, said: “I suspect every ED in the country are having patients who are spending 24 to 48 hours in ED under the care of a specialist, that in a better time they would have gone onto a ward. That’s happening every day in every department. “If you have been seen by the ED crew and referred to the medics who say ‘you need to be admitted to hospital’, the chances are that they are sick enough that they really do need that bed. “It’s a terrible experience [for the patients]. EDs are busy, noisy and crowded. This is not the place where, if you were feeling ill, to get better in a calm, relaxing area. This idea that somehow it’s OK because these people are not that sick, it’s pretty poor. “It feels very much like battlefield medicine – slap a patch on and try and get them back into battle as quickly as possible. It shouldn’t be the way with civilian healthcare.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 23 January 2023
  21. News Article
    Ask any MP or local Healthwatch what health issue sits at the top of their inbox, and there is a good chance it will be the public’s access to NHS dentists. The launch of a Health and Social Care Committee inquiry into dentistry is therefore welcome news. The inquiry is well timed, coming after a recent BBC investigation showing that 90% of practices across England were not accepting new adult NHS patients. The severe access problems stem from several factors. Longstanding issues relating to the dental contract not offering high enough rates for dentists to provide NHS care, for example, have contributed to a decline in the availability of NHS dentistry. This has led to thousands of people across the country going private or, very concerningly, turning to self-care. Accident and emergency departments are over-flowing with people in severe dental distress, with tooth decay being the most common reason for hospital admission among children aged five to nine in recent years. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 19 January 2023
  22. News Article
    Pressures on emergency health services are so bad that the UK government should declare a “national emergency” and call a meeting of the Civil Contingencies Committee (COBRA)—the body summoned periodically to deal with matters of major disruption—peers have said. The cross party House of Lords Public Services Committee said in a report that the government needed to respond with an emergency approach and steps to remedy the situation in the longer term. A recurring theme of the report is the substantial delays highlighted by the media in recent months, which peers said were caused by a “broken” model of primary and community care. This was driving unmet need in directing patients to hospitals where many remained longer than clinically necessary because of inadequate social care. The report recommended that the Department of Health and Social Care should mandate a greater presence of clinical staff in NHS 111 control centres to help boost numbers of clinicians in the 999 and 111 services. This would mean that patients were directed to the right services more quickly thanks to better triaging of calls, which could mean fewer patients being passed to emergency or urgent care services. Another suggestion was for the government to introduce more incentives for faster safe discharges from hospitals, with more capacity in hospitals and social care to help people move through the health system more quickly. Read full story Source: BMJ, 19 January 2023 Further reading on the hub: Patient safety impact of hospital bed shortages – A Patient Safety Learning blog
  23. Content Article
    The report's action plan for emergency health services: An emergency response: Recognising this is a national emergency, the Government should refer the crisis in emergency health services to a COBR Committee. Deliver care at the right place, right time: In the short term, boost the number of clinicians in 999 and 111 services so that patients are being directed to the right services at the right time. Unlock the gridlock: Incentivise faster safe discharges from hospitals and increase capacity in hospitals and social care to make sure people can move through the health system and do not end up stuck in ambulances or at A&E. Understand the problem: Data on A&E waiting times do not accurately reflect the patient experience. Performance data should accurately report the true waiting times experienced by patients so that decision makers have a clear picture of the problem, and so the public can hold them to account. Address unmet need: Boost capacity in hospitals and social care. Make it easier for patients to get care in the community both before they reach crisis point (preventing admissions) and following discharge. A new model for emergency health services: The Government must develop a new model for emergency health services which recognises the current crisis, the type of demand services face and clinical best practice and, for accountability purposes, sets out appropriate performance measures.
×