‘This is a system really struggling in all aspects of acute care’ – SAM past president

Commenting on the release today (11 November) of the latest NHS performance data, Dr Nick Scriven, past president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: “This is a system that is really struggling in all aspects of acute care despite everyone concerned doing their utmost; at times to the detriment of their own wellbeing.

“It is really concerning to see so many senior clinicians on the frontline so tired and worn down – I’m not sure how much more they have to give before errors are made or they come to significant harm.

“Hospitals are full and running pretty much on one in and one out of wards backing up to emergency departments and Acute Medical Units (AMUs). Many staff feel unsupported by recent attempts to alleviate waits which, although done for good reasons, provide no obvious recognition of current issues.

“The public should not be misled by talk of cash boosts and gimmicks such as triage tents in car parks and believe these are solutions that will get us through winter – funding is ineffective without staff, as are short-term measures to reduce pressure.

“We need openness and honesty from those in power to be frank with the public about how services may be limited and face up to the fact some really difficult decisions will have to be made in the coming weeks and months.”