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New emergency department target cannot erode patient care and safety

Emergency nurse input is vital if one-hour treatment target is to succeed, says Tricia Scott

Emergency nurse input and addressing the current workload crisis are vital if new one-hour emergency department target for the most critically ill is to succeed, says Tricia Scott

In 2018, 21 million patients received treatment in less than four hours in emergency departments (EDs) in England.

We know this because NHS England collates ED data using a range of metrics covering all types of attendances, including minor injury units, walk-in centres, and numbers discharged, admitted or transferred within four hours of arrival.

Additional data identifies those patients who waited in the ED for four hours or more after a decision had been made to admit them to hospital.

Patient surges

ED performance indicators have been available since 2003-04 and we know that patient attendances have significantly increased since that date.

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