Response to CEM report: Drive for Quality

Wednesday 15th of May 2013

The Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) supports the call for fundamental changes to be made to our urgent care systems to enable hospitals to meet the challenges identified in the College of  Emergency Medicine’s new report : The drive for quality – How to achieve safe, sustainable care in our Emergency Departments.

The pressures described in this document will be familiar to consultants and other staff working in Acute Medical Units (AMUs), alongside their colleagues in Emergency Medicine. The staffing crisis in acute and emergency medicine needs to be addressed urgently. In recent months there have been many occasions when the demands on AMUs and Emergency Departments across the UK have been extreme; inadequate staffing levels have a serious impact on the quality and safety of patient care and on patients’ experience.

The Society for Acute Medicine has called for a consultant presence to be maintained on the AMU for a minimum of 12 hours per day, 7 days per week.  A significant proportion of patients who attend emergency departments become medical in-patients; AMUs are therefore a key component of the solution to overcrowding in emergency departments. SAM will be working closely with the College of Emergency Medicine and the Department of Health to develop ambulatory and admission pathways which ensure safe and effective high quality care for patients arriving in hospital in an emergency.

The document is available from the College of Emergency Medicine website.