Royal College of Emergency Medicine Reacts to CQC Survey on Urgent and Emergency Care

Priscilla Lynch

September 16, 2021

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has welcomed the findings of the latest urgent and emergency care survey, published this week by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and acknowledged areas in need of improvement.

The CQC survey received feedback from 41,206 people who attended a type 1 service in September 2020 and 7424 people who attended a type 3 service in September 2020

Most people surveyed continued to be positive about many aspects of their urgent and emergency care, such as being treated with respect, dignity and having trust in their care givers, however, findings were less positive for areas including people’s perceptions of pain management, emotional support, the availability of staff when they felt they needed attention, and information provided during discharge.

Dr Katherine Henderson, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “It is encouraging to see improvements in many areas compared to previous years. It is particularly pleasing to see one-third of patients using type 1 services rate their experiences 10 out of 10, and also that 94% of patients had confidence and trust in the doctors and nurses examining and treating them. This is a testament to the dedication, commitment, expertise, and compassion of Emergency Medicine staff.

“While there are many positives to highlight in this report, understandably there are some areas for improvement. Many of the areas that are a source of frustration for patients are largely a result of staff shortages and the existing workforce’s ability to dedicate ample time to each patient.”

She maintained that to meet current demand the workforce needs 2,500 more consultants in England along with sufficient numbers of nurses, trainees, allied health professionals and SAS doctors.

Dr Henderson continued: “It is interesting to see that 41% of patients contacted NHS 111 before going to A&E and 32% contacted their GP before going to A&E. This highlights the importance of NHS 111 as a resource for patients.”

She said it is also significant that 32% of patients also contact their GP before going to emergency care. “This highlights the crucial link between primary and urgent and emergency care and makes clear that both are under-resourced. Plans to tackle the challenges facing urgent and emergency care must include a joined-up approach that include ways of supporting and resourcing primary care.”

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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