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Hospitals take short term measures to meet targets

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 15 May 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1054
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    Two thirds of accident and emergency (A&E) departments in England put in place temporary measures during a recent monitoring week so that they appeared to meet the government's waiting time target of four hours, a BMA survey has found.

    Preliminary results from the first 100 A&E consultants from a total of 500 who were sent a questionnaire showed that more than half (56%) had used temporary medical and nursing agency staff to reduce patient waiting times during the monitoring week. One in four consultants (25%) reported that their departments had allowed staff to work double or extended shifts at this time.

    Nearly one in six (14%) survey respondents said that routine surgery had been cancelled …

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