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Patient Safety ‘The Top Priority’ In Emergency Care

Expert Calls For New Recommendations To Be Considered By Authorities


By Rob Dixon

Fresh concerns raised over the future of emergency care across the UK and Ireland need to be addressed and dealt with to ensure that the safety of patients is never undermined, according to specialist medical negligence lawyers.

The College of Emergency Medicine has published a new report, based upon the results of a survey of 131 accident and emergency departments in the UK between 2011 and 2012, which has highlighted worries over unsustainable workloads and staff numbers which could impact on care.

Called The Drive for Quality – How To Achieve Safe, Sustainable Care In Our Emergency Departments, the study includes ten recommendations across four domains designed to ensure patients can access the right quality of care in an emergency.

The proposals include a redesign of the system to manage workloads, sustainable working practices and changes to the way care is funded. Authors added that the care system needs a “radical overhaul”.

Lisa Jordan, a Partner and clinical negligence specialist at Irwin Mitchell who represents victims and the families of those affected by problems in emergency care, has reacted to the report by stating that the ultimate priority of the NHS must be to ensure that the needs of patients come first.

She outlined: “Emergency care is such a vital service and this report has highlighted significant concerns which need to be considered by the Government and health authorities before it is simply too late.

“While this report has put the issue of an overhaul of such services up for discussion, our primary hope will be that any changes made ensure doctors, nurses and other health professionals are given as much support as possible to provide quality treatment and care to all of their patients.

“It is also important that every effort is made to ensure standards of care remain at a consistent and high standard in trusts across the UK, which in turn should ensure that any potential problems or issues can be quickly identified and handled before they impact on safety.”

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