Responding to the Care Quality Commission’s Urgent and Emergency Care Survey 2020, James Devine, director of the acute network at the NHS Confederation, said:
“These survey findings show significant improvements in the quality of care patients received from their A&E services at a time when the NHS was still reeling from the first wave of coronavirus and preparing itself for the second spike in cases. We know that where issues have been identified, trust leaders will reflect on their individual scores and see what further improvements they can make.
“In particular, a greater proportion of patients scored their A&E care as ‘very good’ compared to when the survey was carried out in 2018, they felt more confident about the staff treating them, and felt that they were treated with dignity and respect. This is a testament to the hard work of frontline staff and their teams.
“A year later, A&E services are even busier with over 2 million visits in August, while primary care also saw 28 million appointments and ambulance services have reported one of the toughest periods ever, with record numbers of 999 calls this summer.
“Demand for services is rocketing and staff are more exhausted after everything they have been through in the pandemic, while being worried about what lies ahead this winter.
“Time will tell whether the Government’s Covid Winter Plan will be enough to keep transmission down but there are a range of things we can all do to keep each another safe and protect the NHS. This includes by getting vaccinated if eligible, wearing masks where appropriate, testing and self-isolating if required and following the other vital infection control measures.”