News, Policy & Media


Urgent and Emergency Care Standards Review published by NHS England

A clinically-led review of urgent and emergency care standards has been published by NHS England. The new report has been welcomed by health organisations, patients, clinicians and the public. Findings included in the review have led to recommendations on the reduction of hidden waiting times, the lowering of COVID-19 risks in health settings.  The overall objective of the standards review as to recognise what was clinically important to patients.

The review was based on a consultation on the previous set of standards which ran from December to February 2021. The consultation received 354 responses from the public and stakeholder groups.

The standards set out a bundle of ten measures. These include the reduction of avoidable trips, the amount of NHS 111 contacts receiving clinical output and the percentage of patients spending more than 12 hours in A&E. A change in the measures for urgent and emergency care must reflect the change in how people expect to access care, and enable the ongoing transformations and improvements in how that care is received.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “Since the previous standards were introduced in 2004, there have been many innovations in urgent treatment and care, so it is right we listen to patients, the public and other experts to ensure NHS services deliver what matters most to patients, as well as what is most important clinically.”

Health organisations such as MIND, the College of Paramedics, the Patients Association and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine welcomed the new set of standards which were “long overdue”, according to Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.


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