Pressure on A&E Doctors is a Threat to Patients Safety

Pressure on A&E Doctors is a Threat to Patients Safety

The excessive pressure that is put on A&E consultants could potentially result in a risk to patient safety according to A&E doctors.
The College of Emergency Medicine (CEM) said that the complex nature of work and increase in demand was causing staff sickness and burnout.
The College surveyed over 1000 UK consultants and found that six in 10 people thought that their jobs were unsustainable.
This comes ahead of increasing worries that A&E units will struggle to cope this winter.
At the beginning of the year the NHS missed it’s waiting targets of less than 5% of patients waiting over four hours to be seen. This was the highest waiting times rates seen for nine years.
In response to this Minsters have announced a £500m bailout fund for the following two winters aimed at helping those hospitals with the most acute problems.
The CEM have constantly maintained that the shortage of doctors contributes to the problems.
Earlier reports highlighted that A&E Departments do not have enough consultants.
The average number of consultants works out as just over 7 per unit it should be 10 and larger hospitals should have 16 according to the CEM.
The CEM have now warned the shortages have an affect on the current consultants.
The survey showed that 94% of participants complained that they were working excessive hours and more than half said that they were doing over a fifth of extra work on top of their time contracted time regularly.
The report revealed that there is a small but growing problem with consultants emigrating.
Last year 21 left the UK compared with 3 in 2008.
The CEM vice president Dr Taj Hassan said: “Senior medical decision makers in emergency medicine provide one of the most vital strands in maintaining safety.”
“A failure to address these issues will compromise this ability and also further worsen the present workforce crisis.”
Katherine Murhpy of the Patients Association called the situation “unacceptable”.
She told the BBC:
“Patients have incredible respect for emergency medicine teams but those teams need to be back up with the funding they need to do their jobs without being stretched in any way.”
A Department of Health spokesman told the BBC: “We know we need to do more to support emergency departments to do their important work through winter and beyond.
“That is why we are investing £500m and we tasked Health Education England with developing plans to encourage more medical students to become A&E doctors in the future.”

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