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Emergency Department Capacity Management Guidance

Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateSeptember 30, 2015


ISBN 978 1 78544 697 9
PPDAS 57491

This document is also available in pdf format (759k)


Foreword by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport

1. This guidance

2. Background

3. The 6 Essential Actions to Improving Unscheduled Care
Essential Action 1. Clinically focused and empowered management
Essential Action 2. Capacity and patient flow
Essential Action 3. Managing the patient journey rather than bed management
Essential Action 4. Medical and surgical processes designed to pull patients from ED
Essential Action 5. Seven-day services
Essential Action 6. Ensuring patients are cared for in their own homes

4. Developing a standardised process for managing ED capacity
Decision to admit
Early notification
Clear and visible department management
Escalation steps to eliminate crowding

5. Summary

6. Tips for implementation
1. Working group
2. Senior leadership
3. Clinical engagement
4. Test and measure
5. The 6 Essential Actions to Improving Unscheduled Care
6. Clinically agreed local definitions
7. Clear decision matrices
8. Clinical responsibility
9. Implementing stage 3

Appendix. Membership of ED Capacity Management Expert Group