Ignoring the prescription?

‘Acute and emergency care – prescribing the remedy’

This report represents a comprehensive assessment of the impact or otherwise of the recommendations published last summer, ‘Acute and emergency care – prescribing the remedy’. These recommendations were collectively and uniquely endorsed by the Royal College of Surgeons, the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the College of Emergency Medicine. They were welcomed by the NHS Confederation. There is no point in making recommendations if they are not acted upon. As the winter of 2014/15 draws to a close it is timely to make assessment of the extent to which the recommendations have been adopted.

The findings make sobering reading. In almost all cases a majority of commissioners, providers and systems have not acted upon the collective recommendations of the aforementioned medical royal colleges or the endorsement of the NHS Confederation. Additionally we sought to determine the impact in England of the £700 million allocated by the Department of Health to Local Resilience Groups to relieve the pressures on the acute care system. Our survey demonstrates that a derisory proportion of ‘targeted’ funds have been assigned to emergency departments. As a consequence of ‘ignoring the prescription’ and failure to invest available funds in proven, frontline strategies it cannot be a coincidence that the NHS has faced the four of the most challenging months ever, during which there have been unacceptable levels of system performance with directly harmful effects on patients and frontline staff.

Download the full report here.

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