RoSPA welcomes the long-awaited arrival of the NHS’s new Emergency Care Data Set (ECDS), which will dramatically improve our understanding of why patients are having to attend hospital accident and emergency (A&E) departments.
In the past, the causes of just five per cent of A&E attendances were recorded in A&E departments, meaning there has been little understanding of the reasons behind the vast majority of visits.
This situation is about to change – the ECDS has been designed to fill the gaps in our knowledge by delivering a huge improvement in the quality and quantity of detail about A&E attendances.
Errol Taylor, RoSPA chief executive, said: “A&E attendances have reached record levels and it is more important than ever to understand the causes, to develop programmes – such as accident prevention – to improve the way we look after ourselves and our families.
“RoSPA particularly welcomes the ‘injury information’ fields within ECDS (data/time of injury, place type, activity and mechanism) because these will help us to identify those most vulnerable to accidents, the main injury locations, and the activities being undertaken when injuries happen, to develop precisely-targeted accident prevention programmes.”
The system has been developed over 24 months, with clinical leadership provided by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s informatics department, to ensure that the information collected is right to enable a greater understanding of A&E activity. Data collection and submission began in October.