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In this month's issue of Emergency Nurse, we report on two reviews that relate to the core of our practice as emergency nurses.
One, on patient experiences of emergency care, was carried out by the Care Quality Commission, while the other, on service provision, is due to be led by the medical director of the NHS Commissioning Board.
Both reviews focus, or are likely to focus, on the reduction of waiting times in emergency departments (EDs).
As RCN Emergency Care Association chair Janet Youd suggests, however, quality indicators for EDs cannot be met without the engagement of whole care economies: ambulance, community, discharge and social care services; ED and pharmacy staff; and hospital support and ward teams. Communication between staff working in all of these areas, as well as appropriate local commissioning, are therefore paramount.
Patients expect services, including ED services, to be available 24 hours a day, no matter how much effort goes into educating them about other available resources.
As a result, the number of people attending EDs is increasing, which raises a question about how such people should be cared for. Are more staff required or do existing staff require additional skills and education?
Staffing numbers in ambulance services and EDs do not decrease drastically but remain fairly constant at night. But what about the rest of the healthcare economy? Are services reduced between 5pm and 9am where you work? If they are, how is the care that you and your team provide affected?
If this problem has been addressed successfully in your health economy, why not share the answer with other Emergency Nurse journal readers?
Editorial | February 2013 | Volume 20 Number 9
Emergency Nurse encourages innovation and promotes professional excellence in all pre-hospital and emergency care settings. The journal is editorially independent and opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect the policies of the Royal College of Nursing or those of contributors' employing organisations.