Over half of A&E units providing substandard care

The Care Quality Commission has claimed that 44 per cent of emergency departments in England required improvement, with eight per cent rated inadequate.

As part of its annual State of Care report, the regulator said that A&E was ‘the department in a hospital’ that the Care Quality Commission was ‘most concerned about’, warning that units were struggling because of increases of as much as 10 per cent a year in the number of people seeking care.

Prof Ted Baker, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said that there needs to be a system-wide change so that people ‘get the care they need in the community’, rather than attend A&E departments.

Dr Katherine Henderson, the president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “As well as more patients coming to emergency departments due to a lack of accessible alternatives, there are fewer and fewer staffed beds in hospitals to admit sick patients to, which results in long waits for patients and overcrowded emergency departments. It is little wonder just over half of urgent and emergency services are rated as needing to improve.”

The CQC also found that 40 per cent of outpatient departments, 35 per cent of medical care units and 27 per cent of surgical departments provided substandard care. However, it said hospital care was getting slightly better overall.

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