Royal Bolton Hospital doctor sounded the alarm over national A&E problem
A ROYAL Bolton Hospital consultant was one of the authors of a national report warning that demands on accident and emergency departments was leading to staff stress and putting patients at risk.
Dr Chris Moulton, who is also vice-president of the College of Emergency Medicine, has been backed by the Royal College of Nursing, which fears patients safety in the North West could be put at heightened risk. It comes amid mounting concern about the ability of A&E units to cope this winter. Dr Moulton said: “Nationally, as the college’s report says, there are some very severe and real pressures on A&E departments and a heavy and intensive workload for the clinicians who work in them.
“Bolton actually compares favourably with the majority of A&Es, in that overall this year we have been meeting the NHS four-hour target and have been able to appoint good A&E consultants.”
He added that the management at the Royal Bolton Hospital had supported consultants and staff by looking at job plans and increased staff at weekends. Dr Moulton added: “Across Bolton we’re looking at how we can provide more care for patients away from the hospital if that is appropriate.
“However, the situation is still very challenging. We have one of the busiest emergency departments in Greater Manchester and, in line with the national picture, we have a shortage of registrars.
“The college is calling on the government to address the national situation as a matter of urgency.”
The Bolton-based, regional director for the RCN, Steve Flanagan said: “A&E staff across the North West are under enormous pressure. The RCN is concerned that the situation could get worse as winter is fast approaching.”
A survey showed 85 per cent of A&E staff said patient safety was often compromised due to the increased pressure on services.
Mr Flanagan said: “These figures are very worrying. Nurses enter the profession to save and improve lives. However, if there are too few staff and not enough beds, then they simply cannot provide the safe quality care they want to deliver to their patients.”
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