Trust leaders concerned about demand in emergency departments

28 June 2021

Responding to new analysis from the RCEM on hospital beds, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said:

"We welcome RCEM's focus on winter and capacity. In our survey published last week, trust leaders also told us that they are concerned about demand in emergency departments, with more people presenting late or with more complex conditions.

"Almost three quarters of trust leaders surveyed said they were particularly concerned about the winter months, when the NHS is typically the busiest, fearing that plans to clear waiting lists will be disrupted because of the need to prioritise demand for urgent and emergency care.

"Among other priorities such as capital investment and workforce pressures, the NHS needs more beds, both in hospitals and across systems, including in mental health and community services, to ensure that people are treated in the most suitable place and close to home. Ambulance trusts are also facing sharp rises in demand and sustained pressures which will need attention before the winter months.

"The government should also commit to continuing permanent funding for discharge to assess, which helped free up 30,000 beds during the pandemic."