RCP responds to 'Under pressure: safely managing increased demand in emergency departments'

The RCP's statement on the Care Quality Commission's (CQC’s) publication of Under pressure: safely managing increased demand in emergency departments, a report that highlights areas in which health workers can come together in a more systemised way to encourage early and effective planning for both winter pressures and periods of peak demand.

Commenting on Under pressure: safely managing increased demand in emergency departments, RCP president Professor Jane Dacre said:

The CQC’s findings mirror exactly what our members are telling us – fears that the rising demand for services and growing problems with staff shortages are leading to a deterioration in the quality of patient care.

NHS staff are going above and beyond to keep services going and we agree that transformation across the whole health and social care system care needs to happen. But this isn’t going to solve the issue right now of the impact workforce shortages are having on staff morale and doctors’ ability to ensure safe care.

Coupled with findings from the Institute for Fiscal Studies and The Health Foundation published in reports this week, the message couldn’t be louder that the time for action on the NHS’ future is now. As we near its 70th birthday we hope the government will take heed with funding decisions that start to tackle both the immediate problems and longer term, protect the NHS for future generations.

    Notes to editors

    In March 2018 the RCP published NHS Reality Check: Update, the views of 1,500 doctors on winter pressures. The headline findings showed:

    • 64% of doctors believe that patient safety has deteriorated over the past year – 10% higher than last year.
    • 93% experienced staff shortages across the team – 9% higher than last year.
    • 84% believe that the workforce is demoralised – 2% higher than last year.
    • 85% cite rising demand for their service over the past year – 7% higher than last year.
    • 47% cite lower-quality care over the past year – 10% higher than last year.
    • 80% are worried about the ability of their service to deliver safe patient care in the next 12 months – 6% higher than last year.

    Reports published this week (w/c 21 May):