The pandemic has opened everyone’s eyes to the importance of ensuring that emergency departments have the right numbers of staff, staff who are trained in emergency care, the right equipment and the right to be listened to – as experts in emergency response. We must now capitalize on this goodwill.
As we continue to battle the effects of the pandemic, many emergency departments are over-capacity, with ambulance offloading delays, long waiting times for a full patient consultation, and extremely long waits for patients to be admitted to a ward. In 2019 we published a document on this topic. It is becoming clear that this is a growing problem worldwide, hampering our ability to do our job, and causing great harm to patients. Look out for advocacy work on this topic in the next few months.
As IFEM grows, our role in supporting the work of the World Health Organization also grows. WHO has invited IFEM to participate in two new development projects. One is to advise on and attend their brand new two-day Sepsis Learning Program and the other is a multi-agency meeting to discuss a proposal for a new minimum dataset for Emergency Care. Here at IFEM we have a WHO implementation taskforce to assist in roll-out of the WHO Emergency Care Toolkit.
These projects show determination from the WHO to improve global emergency care, stemming from the WHO resolution about ensuring timely care for the acutely ill and injured at the World Health Assembly (May 2019). IFEM Past President Professor Lee Wallis, alongside Dr Teri Reynolds, continue to work tirelessly to drive the focus on emergency care at WHO.
I’ve spent my first two months as President getting to know our excellent new Board of Directors and looking to see how we ensure that you, as member regional and national societies, and emergency medical care workers around the world, get the most value possible from IFEM.
One thing is clear, we need a bigger administration team to support all our good work and all your good ideas, from our recent feedback survey and from our Committees, Taskforces and Special Interest Groups. IFEM is therefore very grateful to the Emirates Society for Emergency Medicine and the Hong Kong College of Emergency Medicine in lending us a little help for some of our work. We remain grateful to the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine in supporting us with HR and IT.
Finally, a team within IFEM led by Professor Jim Ducharme, Past President, is drawing up plans for a campaign to attract donations and grants in order to give us the financial boost needed to support the many projects and advocacy work that IFEM carries out on behalf of its members. Some feedback I’ve heard from a few sources suggests that for all of us, now is a good time to knock on people’s doors and ask for help with improving your services to patients. So, to each and every one of you, make the most of the current awareness of what it is that you actually do: reach out, aim high and as the phrase goes…. “if you don’t ask, you don’t get!”
Dr Ffion Davies
Click on the video below to hear IFEM President Dr Ffion Davies talk about how connecting with each other as both emergency physicians and people, is important. She invites you all to tell us what you want from future IFEM newsletters. Email us at [email protected]