Emergency Department Capacity Management Guidance

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.


1. Sprivulis P et al. (2006) The association between hospital overcrowding and mortality among patients admitted via Western Australian emergency departments. Medical Journal of Australia. 184(5): 208-212.

2. Richardson D (2006) Increase in patient mortality at 10 days associated with emergency department overcrowding. Medical Journal of Australia. 184(5): 213-216.

3. Sun B et al. (2012) Effect of emergency department crowding on outcomes of admitted patients. Presented as an abstract at the American College of Emergency Physicians Research Forum, October 2011, San Francisco, CA; and at the Academy Health Annual Research Meeting, June 2012, Orlando, FL.

4. Royal College of Emergency Medicine (2014) Crowding in Emergency Departments - Revised June 2014. RCEM, London (www.rcem.ac.uk/code/document.asp?ID=6296, accessed 24 September 2015).

5. Forero R, Hillman K (2008) Access Block and Overcrowding: a Literature Review. University of New South Wales, Sydney (www.acem.org.au/getattachment/a9b0069c-d455-4f49-9eec-fe7775e59d0b/Access-Block-2008-literature-review.aspx, accessed 24 September 2015).

6. Richardson D, Mountain D (2009) Myths versus facts in emergency department overcrowding and hospital access block. Medical Journal of Australia. 190(7): 369-374.

7. Singer A et al. (2011) The association between length of emergency department boarding and mortality. Academic Emergency Medicine. 18(12): 1324-1329.

8. Kripalani S et al. (2007) Promoting effective transitions of care at hospital discharge: a review of key issues for hospitalists. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2(5): 314-323.


Email: Helen Maitland

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