RCEM welcomes £250 million investment to tackle NHS crisis: Commenting on Downing Street’s NHS Recovery Forum on Saturday 7 January and the subsequent announcement of funding for Health and Social Care, Dr Adrian Boyle, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said:
“I was pleased to be invited and attend the NHS Recovery Forum at Downing Street on Saturday and speak with the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and others about the crisis in Emergency Care and the wider health service. I thank them for their time. We are pleased that Emergency Care is recognised as a priority.
“We welcome and recognise this much needed investment in health and social care. The £200 million investment in social care is a good start, we urge that this be built up into long-term continued and sustained investment in social care.
“The health service is in crisis and hospitals are full, for a long time we have called for the focus to be on discharging patients from hospital. We are pleased to see the government act on this by way of buying extra beds in care homes and other settings. However, the government have been told and recognise that buying beds in care homes is only a short-term solution to the immediate crisis, it is welcome that they will also be trialling and implementing a series of long-term solutions.
“We also welcome the additional £50 million capital funding to upgrade and expand hospitals. We know the importance of tackling ambulance delays and agree they must be addressed as a system-wide issue. Ambulance waiting time delays and long waits in Emergency Departments are symptoms of a whole-system problem.
“We urge the government not to revisit pre-Emergency Department cohort areas that have been tried, tested and not worked many times over. These are not effective and will not reduce ambulance waiting times. These only move corridor care into ‘temporary structures’ built in car parks that become rapidly full. We know it is much safer to have post-Emergency Department cohort areas.
“The crisis in Emergency Care and wider health service will not be solved in a day. While we welcome this new investment and the government’s action, these are deep-rooted long-term problems – such as the workforce recruitment and retention crisis – that cannot be fixed quickly or easily. We look forward to discussing solutions with the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister more over the coming weeks and months.”
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine is not a union and cannot comment on industrial action or the terms and conditions of staff: