Health Committee Publishes Report: Urgent and Emergency Services

On Wednesday 24 July 2013, the Health Select Committee, of which Valerie is a member, published its report into Urgent and Emergency Services.

Valerie said:

” In our report we said that pressures will build during next winter and  we are concerned that current plans lack sufficient urgency. Our report recommends that NHS England should ensure that Urgent Care Plans are agreed for each area before 30 September 2013.
 There is a requirement to to restructure provision of urgent and emergency care if patient need is to be met in the longer term. It is clear that the structures established 60 years ago are not appropriate for the 21st Century. We need to reorganise the way in which emergency and urgent care is delivered.”

“We think it is extraordinary that consultant coverage for a minimum of 16 hours a day during the working week is guaranteed in only 17% of designated A&E Departments. The figure is even lower at weekends and there are high vacancy rates for senior staff and consultants leading, inevitably, to high locum costs.”

“We were told that many trainees reject emergency medicine in favour of other specialities. It is vital that Health Education England and Local Area and Training Boards address this trend and take steps to encourage young doctors to specialise in emergency medicine.”

The Committee’s report can be downloaded here.