Following the release today of the Care Quality Commission’s annual state of care report, Dr Nick Scriven, immediate past president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said:
“It is a frightening state of affairs in our acute hospitals if over 25% are deemed as “needing improvement” or “unsafe”in the run up to what could be one of if not the worst winters for us in terms of demand. This is even more concerning when you realise that 52% of our urgent and emergency services fall into this category.
“We have seen this year demand is already more than 5% up on every month last year with no sign of this increase flattening out or any possible respite. I would agree with the CQC in that is a ‘perfect storm’ but we have said the same for various surges in pressure over the last 48 months or so without it really provoking any positive reaction from government.
“At some point in the near future all these sustained and repeated problems with increasing demand, inadequate workforce that is haemorrhaging senior cover, the pension tax crisis, crumbling estates, insufficient community medical care and community social care in general totally under provisioned, we will reach a vital tipping point and care will be compromised despite all the heroic efforts by the human side of this, the staff in post.
“It is good to see The CQC acknowledge that senior staff and managers have a major role to play in that the culture they set is also key to how the system works and without the right culture nothing will succeed.
“We can only hope that over the next few months we do not see any prolonged bad weather nor any kind of influenza increase above seasonal averages.”