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Understaffing of Emergency Departments in United Kingdom

Understaffing of Emergency Departments in United Kingdom

The College of Emergency Medicine (CEM), UK, is today calling on the next Government to address extreme understaffing of emergency departments (EDs) and ensure a high quality, guaranteed 24x7 point of access for patients.

The College says every ED needs a minimum of 10 emergency medicine consultants to be able to deal with the large number of patients who visit the ED per year. The current average number of EM consultants per ED is 4.2 and the average number of patients attending each ED is between 70-80,000 per annum. Increasing this number will mean more consultants in EDs at the evenings and weekends, ensuring highest standards of quality and safety. Significant cost benefits will also be achieved by helping to reduce expensive or inappropriate investigations, unnecessary admissions and unsafe discharges home.

Dr John Heyworth, President of the College of Emergency Medicine said, Emergency care in the United Kingdom is currently failing to deliver the service which the public expect and deserve. The single most important factor in providing a high quality, timely and clinically effective service to patients is care led by EM consultants.

A Matter of Emergency CEM Manifesto published 28th April 2010

Emergency Medicine Consultants - Workforce Recommendations
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