Emergency care workforce measures are welcome but concerns continue for the coming winter
12 October 2017
- NHS Improvement announces plan to ensure sustainable staffing in A&E over winter
- Plan seeks to boost recruitment in emergency medicine and offer more support to emergency departments through physician associates
- We say while trusts will be encouraged to see practical support, the reality is that measures will only have limited measure on the immediate challenge of this coming winter
NHS Improvement, along with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), NHS England and Health Education England have developed a plan to ensure sustainable staffing in NHS emergency departments.
The plans include commitments to:
- Recruiting 400 people to enter emergency medicine training over the next four years
- Increasing support for emergency departments through more physician associates
- Supporting trainees through a dedicated leadership and development training offer
- Piloting a scheme to support flexible working in emergency departments
Responding to the emergency care workforce measures announced by NHS Improvement, NHS England, Health Education England and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, the director of strategy and policy at NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:
“It is good that this initiative addresses some of the key concerns around staffing in A & E, where many workers face intolerable pressures.
“A lot of NHS trusts have developed their own initiatives to support and develop staff in emergency care, to improve recruitment and retention.
While many trusts will be encouraged to see this kind of practical support, the reality is it will have only limited – if any - impact on the immediate challenge of getting through the coming winter.
“These measures will undoubtedly provide further help for trusts as they respond to the relentless rise in demand. It is vital they are delivered as planned, without delay.
“However, while many trusts will be encouraged to see this kind of practical support, the reality is it will have only limited – if any - impact on the immediate challenge of getting through the coming winter. That is a real worry. Trusts are working hard to ensure they can provide safe, high quality care in the challenging months ahead. But there are continuing concerns about having enough capacity – including beds and staff – in order to cope.”