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The College of Emergency Medicine's report says the majority of A&E doctors think working practices are unsustainable
The heavy workloads of accident and emergency staff are compromising patient safety, it is claimed.
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRT) recently admitted it has a problem retaining staff because its A&Es were too busy.
The trust, which manages King George in Goodmayes and Queen’s hospital in Romford, has come under fire for the quality of care and having the longest average waiting times in London.
Today the College of Emergency Medicine published a report calling for action to address increased pressures.
A survey of 1,077 emergency medicine consultants in December last year showed 62 per cent believed their jobs were unsustainable and 94 per cent regularly worked longer hours than planned.
Dr Taj Hassan, vice president of the college and report co-author, said: “This report has major implications for health policy makers, regulator, commissioners and Executive Board of Trusts in the UK.
“Senior medical decision makers in emergency medicine provide one of the most vital strands in maintaining safety for emergency care systems in the UK.
“A failure to address these issues will compromise this ability and also further worsen the present workforce crisis affecting emergency departments.”
Mike Gill, BHRUT medical director said the trust is doing all it can to support staff.
“We know that working in our emergency departments can be challenging for staff, and we do all that we can to support them in this busy and stressful environment.” He said.
“We carry out a weekly review of emergency department staffing rotas at executive level to ensure that staffing is safe and adequate going forward, and also review the staffing levels from the previous week.”
The report also found difficult working conditions reduce the attractiveness of the speciality to trainees and causes difficulty in retaining doctors and consultants.
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