Publication - Advice and guidance

Emergency Department Capacity Management Guidance

Published: 30 Sep 2015
Part of:
Health and social care

The Unscheduled Care Steering Group convened the Emergency Department Capacity Management Expert Group, which includes clinicians and managers, 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.

18 page PDF

777.5 kB

18 page PDF

777.5 kB

Emergency Department Capacity Management Guidance

18 page PDF

777.5 kB

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



Email: Helen Maitland