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Best practice frameworks for critical care staffing

Dr. Jack Parry-Jones FRCP FFICM urges the Government to look intently at solutions to the increasing pressures on critical care services. In this article, he outlines the key areas that need to be addressed.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought additional pressures on a system that was already struggling. The ensuing cost to people has been unprecedented. Patients and their families bore the greatest burden, but many critical care staff suffered and, for those remaining, their struggles now continue. What we need to do now is to look at three key areas to ensure that: we have enough staff; we have sufficient critical care bed capacity; and we are prepared for future pandemics. 

In November 2022, the UK COVID-19 Inquiry opened its third investigation, which considers the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Staffing levels and critical care capacity is one of 12 key areas in scope. Despite what some politicians may say, and without pre-empting the inquiry’s findings, we can with confidence say it will not find the UK went into the pandemic with too many intensive care staff, staffing too many critical care beds. 

The necessary rapid expansion of critical care units in 2020, which overstretched critical care staff and resources, would not have been able to provide adequate patient care to all who needed it without considerable support. Additional staffing was essential; in particular coming from colleagues in anaesthesia, respiratory medicine and acute general medicine, as well as from less obvious quarters including theatre staff, recovery staff and medical students

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Upcoming Events

Arab Health 2023

Dubai World Trade Centre
30th January - 2nd February 2023

Central Sterilising Club Annual Scientific Meeting

Crowne Plaza, Newcastle Upon Tyne
3rd - 4th April 2023

DECON UK 2023

Hilton Birmingham Metropole
18th April 2023

Infection Prevention and Control 2023

National Conference Centre, Birmingham
25th - 26th April 2023

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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