The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) recently published a report, Hospitals on the edge?
The time for action, which argues that the demand on clinical services is increasing to the point where acute care cannot keep pace in its current form.
The college is concerned that acute hospital care could be on the brink of collapse and we are calling on all health professionals, including physiotherapists, and wider stakeholders such as politicians and health managers, to work together to address this.
There are a third fewer general and acute beds now than there were 25 years ago, but the last decade alone has seen a 37 per cent increase in emergency admissions.
This is coupled with a change in patients’ needs.
Two people in every three who are admitted to hospital are over 65 years old, and an increasing number are frail or have a diagnosis of dementia.
However, all too often hospitals are not equipped to deal with people with these multiple, complex needs.
And this is affecting patient care. RCP members report the lack of continuity of care as their biggest concern about the health service.
We are sure that physiotherapists must experience the same issues.
It is not uncommon for patients to be moved four or five times during a hospital stay, often with incomplete notes and no formal handover.
The RCP calls on all health professionals to promote patient-centred care and to treat all patients with dignity at all times.
We also believe that hospital services should be redesigned to meet patients’ needs in a better way.
The planning and implementation of new services must be clinically led.
Finally, hospital care should be reorganised so patients can access expert services seven days a week.
To address this problem, the college has established the groundbreaking Future Hospital Commission.
- To get involved, please email: email@example.com
- Professor Tim Evans is lead fellow, future hospital, at the Royal College of Physicians.
- Visit: www.rcplondon.ac.uk