Dr Chris Roseveare comments on an article on the BBC website (13.12.11) which highlights the increasing delays ambulance staff are experiencing when handing patients over to the care of A&E.
Dr Roseveare says: ‘This is a huge challenge for Acute Medical Units (AMUs) as well for Emergency Departments, particularly at this time of year. Having to wait on an ambulance trolley in a hospital corridor for any amount of time is undignified and potentially unsafe for patients. AMUs need to ensure that bed capacity is made available early in the day before the expected surge in arrivals. Although the numbers of admissions varies from day to day, the surges are often predictable. It is essential to be proactive and not reactive – senior staff working in acute medical units need to use their influence with the hospital management team to create space before a queue develops.’