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Urgent need to increase the number of Accident and Emergency Consultants

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has recently advised that there needs to be an urgent increase in the number of Accident and Emergency Consultants on duty in our hospitals to ensure patient safety. 

Indeed, the body who represents emergency medicine doctors in the UK states that 2,200 extra Accident and Emergency Consultants must be recruited in the next five years.  It was well documented that last winter, the NHS experienced its toughest time in years with record numbers of patients enduring extensive waiting time in their local Accident and Emergency Department before being seen by a Consultant and that Accident and Emergency Departments were struggling to treat patients within the 4 hour target. 

The Royal College states that Accident and Emergency doctors are working to their limit to try to provide safe care to patients but understaffing is leading to them being burnt out, asking for a reduction in working hours to part time hours or subsequently leaving the profession.  The Royal College  has advised that the funds to pay for the increase in need could be raised by redirecting the money that is currently spent on locum and agency Accident and Emergency doctors as a result of the understaffing and to increase the number of training places available for Accident and Emergency doctors from 325 to 425 a year to help give the departments the resources that they need.  

It is concerning that Accident and Emergency doctors are decreasing at our hospitals.  They provide important and essential services and often treatment in such departments needs to be undertaken quickly.  Clinical negligence claims involving Accident and Emergency doctors usually occur due to a failure, error or delay in forming a diagnosis.  This can be due to a failure to undertake a through patient history, a failure to carry out extensive investigations and/ or interpreting results of investigations incorrectly resulting in a misdiagnosis and therefore discharging patients home too quickly. 


For a confidential discussion with Emma or the team about any concerns you may have about yourself or a loved one’s experiences in an Accident and Emergency Department or any other potential clinical negligence claim, please do not hesitate to get in contact via the form on our website or by calling 0345 872 6666.  

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