The Unscheduled Care Steering Group convened the Emergency Department Capacity Management Expert Group, which includes clinicians and managers (see
Appendix), to review evidence and contribute their experience and expertise to the development of guidance to eliminate crowding in emergency departments (EDs) in Scotland. The aim was to develop an escalation framework for implementation
across NHS Scotland.
This guidance, produced by the steering group, proposes the development of a standard operating procedure to avoid crowding by proactively managing capacity in the ED within the context of the 6 Essential Actions to Improving Unscheduled Care.
The guidance also includes escalation steps that can be taken when crowding occurs.
Although the dangers of crowding are most frequently faced in EDs, the processes outlined in this guidance apply to any area providing urgent care to patients arriving directly from the community, such as acute medical, surgical or paediatric units.
This documents was revised in April 2016 to reflect the experience of Boards in developing their plans.