Royal college of Emergency Medicine statement on the potential closure of Grantham A&E.
The news that another Emergency Department is having to close at night due to staffing difficulties is disappointing, yet unsurprising.
Grantham Hospital is the latest A&E to find itself in what could be an increasingly common situation. Despite various efforts to recruit, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is struggling to fill posts and is even having difficulties finding locums.
The unfortunate consequence of insufficient doctors is that there is sometimes a patient safety issue in continuing to offer services which are unsustainable.
For some time now some local systems have become increasingly fragile due to the resourcing challenges.
Dr Clifford Mann, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said: “The great efforts made by doctors and nurses to help patients in under-resourced locations sometimes is not sustainable.
“As well as potentially putting patient safety at risk, placing an ever increasing workload on overstretched staff can create a vicious circle in retention and recruitment with many overworked trainees simply choosing to leave the country or indeed the specialty altogether.
“The wider picture is there is a real crisis in Emergency Medicine as our workforce numbers are not growing fast enough to keep pace with rising numbers of patients attending A&E Departments.”
The College believes the answer lies in increased workforce, not just recruitment but the retention of emergency physicians in the UK. Our STEP Campaign has warned of the need for action to address these issues for nearly three years.
We strongly encourage all involved across the spectrum of NHS leadership and management to do more to implement the College’s recommendations for the sake of our patients.
For further information, or to speak with a spokesperson for The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (between 9am and 5pm), please contact Luke O’Reilly at [email protected] or on 0207 067 1275.
For out of hours enquiries, please contact Gordon Miles at [email protected] or on 07715 456 784.