“Frailty units” would help take pressure off emergency departments, say specialists

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 15 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3157
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

The College of Emergency Medicine has called for a radical overhaul of the way emergency care is designed, run, and funded in the United Kingdom.1

It said that the current system was in crisis, with hospital emergency units facing their “biggest challenge in more than a decade.”

Staff members dealing with unsustainable workloads and often intolerable conditions were struggling to provide consistent and safe care, as “performance deteriorates across the wider healthcare system,” said the college’s report on achieving a safe and sustainable service.

The college recommends a further expansion of consultant numbers, minimum nurse staffing levels, and better resourced and more accessible primary care services.

Its vice president, Taj Hassan, said, “Emergency departments are massively congested. We need to identify those cohorts of patients who could be better managed elsewhere.” He said that there was “no quick solution” but that with …

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