Magazine article Public Finance

Watchdog Criticises Pain Relief Failures in A&E

Magazine article Public Finance

Watchdog Criticises Pain Relief Failures in A&E

Article excerpt

The quality of care in England's accident and emergency departments varies widely, with some patients being denied timely pain relief, according to an NHS watchdog.

A study of 200 A&E departments by the Healthcare Commission, published on August 8, urges trusts to measure care standards as well as waiting times.

Although most patients said they were happy with their treatment, the report uncovered examples of slipping standards. In particular, some older people and children did not receive prompt pain relief for fractures.

Whereas the British Association for Emergency Medicine recommends that children with wrist or elbow fractures should receive pain relief within 20 minutes of arrival, the commission found that only six A&E departments achieved this.

Commission chief executive Anna Walker said departments needed to work harder to deliver the care patients need. …

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