Give WiFi access to patients in A&E waiting rooms, say doctors

People waiting in A&E departments should be given WiFi access
People waiting in A&E departments should be given WiFi access
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People waiting in A&E departments should be given WiFi access, leading emergency care doctors have said.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) said waiting rooms should be furnished with reading material, a television and WiFi access.

A new check-list set by the college encourages emergency department staff to go "over and above" fundamental standards by providing such entertainment.

It also encourages departments to provide patients and their families with information regarding the process and an updated waiting time.

The college has devised 50 quality standards for emergency departments to ensure quality patient care.

The checklist covers all aspects of emergency care, from patient experience to the treatment of elderly patients and children, care of those with complex needs, along with education about care, team working and leadership.

Royal College of Emergency Medicine president Dr Taj Hassan, said: "In the hectic, often overcrowded environment of the ED, sometimes staff feel they are forced to compromise on the quality of service being provided, in their desire to safely tackle the sheer quantity of patients requiring treatment in order to hit their targets.

"While meeting targets is important, it is vital that our primary focus should be on ensuring patients receive the highest possible quality of care.

"Our guide provides a 50-point checklist for ED staff to ensure that delivering safe, compassionate care is central to what they do and placed above all other aims.

"In 2013, the Francis Report highlighted the neglect of acceptable standards of care, with quality often being sacrificed on the altar of targets. We hope that this checklist, if used correctly, will enhance the provision of quality care and, in doing so, will help lead to targets being hit.

"We have also suggested some initiatives and ideas for departments to develop for patients that we hope will add just that little bit extra to patient experience."