A&E Staffing insufficient.

A&E Departments returned to the news this week as the Independent reported that departments find themselves “too short staffed” more than half the time.

It’s startling news as we dive deeper into the winter season and with many trusts in England and Wales on black alert. In NHS hospitals we use a term known as patient flow, this is basically the movement of patients within the hospital system. Black alert means that there are more people being admitted through A&E than those being medically well in other parts of the hospital who can be discharged. The term bed-blocker is usually thrown around quite a lot too.

The Royal college of emergency medicine and the Royal College of Nursing have raised concerns that there are often insufficient numbers of staff in A&E departments. This puts patient safety at risk as the nature of the department can be unpredictable.

This report comes almost a year after it was announced that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) announced that it was suspending safe staffing guidance. This controversial move was heavily discussed at the Royal College of Nursing’s annual conference in Bournemouth.

It seems this is yet another pressure on our already struggling NHS.

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