Changes to the four-hour target should be in the ‘best interests of patients’ rather than ‘political will’.
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) has said it supports the continued use of the four-hour A&E target but admits it needs to be supported other metrics that will help regulators understand the causes of long waits and over-crowding in Emergency Departments.
Earlier this week NHS England signalled the end to the four-hour A&E target that was introduced in the 1990s to tackle a serious of clinical incidents caused by long waits in emergency departments.
Last month only two hospital trusts hit the target to see and treat 95% of patients within four hours.
The college claims that, despite representing A&E doctors, it has not been consulted on the proposed changes and emphasises that decisions made about the four-hour target should be in ‘best interests of patients’.
‘Catastrophic impact on patient safety’.
In January, Dr Taj Hassan, President of the RCEM, warned that scrapping the four-hour target will have a “catastrophic impact on patient safety”.
“We note the Prime
“Only by collaborating and sharing expertise will we be able to develop a suite of additional standards that enhance clinical care and maintain a focus on safety.”
Since the announcement, the RCEM states has come to an agreement with NHS England to retain the four-hour target if a better flow metric cannot be developed.