Pressures on Urgent and Emergency Care: Has Anything Changed?
News headlines are littered with warnings about urgent and emergency departments reaching a crisis point, but is anything changing?
Last month NHS England announced plans for an overhaul of A&E targets. With four-hour performance goals becoming harder and harder to achieve, NHS bosses claim that these targets are becoming outdated. The goal of seeing 95% of patients within four hours hasn’t been met nationally since 2015 with only two hospitals hitting it in February 2019. These new plans would prioritise the most critical patients for quick treatment and aim to drop targets of seeing and treating almost all A&E patients within four hours.
These new plans will be piloted this year and could be introduced more widely across the NHS in 2020. The new targets could include ensuring patients with heart attacks, sepsis, acute asthma and strokes are cared for within an hour.
However, meeting four-hour performance goals is only one of an array of issues facing the urgent and emergency care sector. Year on year the challenges remain the same and A&E’s are often at crisis point when dealing with winter pressures. During our conference, we are aiming to address these problems and discuss practical insights and solutions for tackling the ongoing crisis faced by emergency services.
What are the problems?
The key problems faced by urgent and emergency care departments are all linked to growing patient demand. This has impacted patient flow, patient safety, effective discharge, response times and waiting times. Whilst patients often feel the impact of these increased pressures in the care they receive, NHS staff are also affected. So it is becoming more and more important to introduce strategies for maintaining a sustainable workforce.
How are we addressing these problems?
At the Urgent and Emergency Care Conference we will be hosting speakers and sessions to try and address the key issues being faced by the sector. Our sessions will focus on key themes and try to provide solutions to problems such as: creating a sustainable workforce, improving patient flow, relieving pressures on emergency departments and improving standards and quality of care.
Professor Stephen Powis the National Medical Director from NHS England will be outlining the long-term plan for urgent and emergency care. Patrick Mitchell from Health Education England will be speaking about ensuring a sustainable workforce. Dr Sally Johnson from Greenbrook Healthcare will be sharing how they have successfully relieved pressure on emergency departments through primary care led UCC’s. Professor Suzanne Mason from University of Sheffield will be discussing the new Ambulance Response Programme.
This article was written by Tatiana de Berg