Ahead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on NHS and social care funding (which is suggested to be in the region of £5.5 billion) tomorrow (07 September), Dr Susan Crossland, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said:
“We know this funding falls far short of what NHS leaders have said is required and any amount of money will not help the thousands of exhausted staff this winter, however, we must now ensure whatever funding is provided is used as wisely as possible and on the advice of experts.
“We know acute medicine holds the key to solving many of the system pressures in the NHS – particularly over winter – but that is not feasible when it becomes the “go to” solution for helping out in emergency departments, giving up beds for extra capacity or working in sub-standard facilities.
“We need to start thinking about acute medical units as different to the rest of the hospital bed base and take into account that if our AMUs are full, neither the front door (ED) nor the back door (hospital wards and discharge) will work.
“We have also warned for many years now how poor social care provision is a significant cause of delayed discharge and blockage to hospital flow and until both of these issues are resolved, progress in tackling system issues in the NHS will be hampered severely.”
“All this time we have spent trying to sort out ED when we should have been sorting out AMUs with more staff, purpose-built units and better training of the whole team of staff.”