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Government must rise to A&E challenge

Emergency doctors say ministers must implement their plan to stave off winter crisis

Mark Gould

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has called on the new government to implement its plan for concerted reform and improvement of A&E services in order to prevent a winter crisis where ambulances are turned away from hospitals.

The College says it looks forward to working with the new government to solve the challenges facing emergency care, and to ensure a safe and reliable A&E service for patients as measured by the four hour target.

It is today calling on ministers to implement its STEP campaign, launched in November 2014 which explains what needs to be done to tackle the challenges facing A&Es. Focusing on the need for Sustainable Staffing, Tariff and Contract reform, Exit Block eradication and Primary Care Co-location, the campaign has received wide endorsement from other bodies and politicians. Implementing the four components of the campaign should be a priority for the new government.

RCEM President, Dr Cliff Mann, said: “The challenges facing A&E services will become apparent again all too soon during the coming winter. We believe it is in everyone’s interests to urgently implement the recommendations of the STEP campaign.”

“Resolving the challenges facing emergency medicine and A&E departments need not be difficult, nor indeed do we think they will require more money. In fact the reverse is true. Much of the STEP campaign could be accomplished within two to three years and would result in a system that has greater capacity and lower costs.”

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