Shortage of Consultants in A&E

Shortage of consultants in A&E raises criticism of crisis plans

More than 80% of accident and emergency units do not have enough consultants on duty for the 16 hours a day that is regarded as necessary to give patients high-quality care, according to a report from the NHS Health Select Committee released on Wednesday 24 July 2013.
Their evidence found just 17% of hospitals had the recommended level of consultant cover, while difficulties with discharging patients and a lack of beds at times meant the flow of patients through the system was disrupted.
Emergency departments in hospitals have too few doctors to cope with their growing workload and face a recruitment crisis because young medics are increasingly put off working there by the stress and hours involved, the Commons health select committee says.
Alzheimer’s Society comment:
‘It’s concerning that some hospitals are not geared up to provide high-quality care to people in A&E. One in four hospital beds are occupied by people with dementia and far too many see their health deteriorate whilst in hospital. With an ageing population, it’s vital that health and social care services take into account the best ways to care for the elderly and vulnerable, ensuring plans are integrated. Better care in the community will help prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and it's essential all hospital staff are dementia aware, to help improve the experience of people with the condition.’
George McNamara
Head of Policy and Public Affairs   Alzheimer’s Society 
  • One in three people over 65 will develop dementia 
  • Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer’s disease. In less than ten years a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051 
  • Alzheimer’s Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them 
  • Alzheimer’s Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland 
  • Alzheimer’s Society has a plan to deal with dementia. Help us support people to live well today and fight for a world without dementia tomorrow. We rely on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0845 306 0898 or visiting 
  • Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0300 222 11 22 or visit 
© Alzheimer's Society - July 2013


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