Following the release today (14 October) of the latest NHS performance data, Dr Tim Cooksley, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said:
“This data presents a worrying picture as we are moving further away from an NHS that can provide the best possible care to all who need it promptly and closer to one which can only focus on those most critically unwell.
“Even then it is with a threadbare workforce that has been run into the ground and there is widespread concern about winter given the NHS was in a weak position heading into the pandemic and is now rebuilding on the back foot.
“There is no doubt this raises safety concerns and, sadly, many people will be waiting longer for their care and it will not be delivered to the standards they should expect as services struggle to contend with workload.
“The short-term aim must be to focus on those things we know can make a difference and acute medicine is integral to both the front and back door of hospitals, so the workforce must be recognised and championed.
“Acute medicine has always been at the forefront when it comes to developing innovative models of care that improve outcomes and experience for acutely unwell medical patients and we are particularly focused on ensuring same day emergency care is utilised to its full potential.
“This is a way of delivering quality and efficient patient care while improving flow and capacity, as we know from our own audit data, and it is essential this is supported from the top.”