The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine has issued a series of recommendations as to how Emergency Department (ED) care should be provided in the phase in which COVID-19 is endemic in Ireland and subsequently. This series of recommendations has been forwarded to Senior Management in the HSE and the Department of Health and represents the expert view of those who are specialists in Emergency Medicine on the steps that must be taken to ensure the safety of patients and staff in Ireland’s 29 EDs.
Much of what passed as “normal” in the period before the outbreak of COVID-19 was clearly unacceptable, even then. In the light of the social distancing requirements for both patients and staff, these “norms” are all the more unacceptable and cannot be allowed to recur. While there is nobody who can or will regard the crowding which was so regularly and dramatically manifested in Ireland EDs as normal, the Irish Emergency Medicine community has serious concerns that the healthcare system will just passively return to these unacceptable “norms”. This series of recommendations is intended to ensure that steps are taken now, as a matter of urgency, to lessen the chance of a return to these dark days which now, more than ever, will place patients and staff at considerable and wholly avoidable risk.
The Association’s Recommendations on resetting care in Irish Emergency Departments was published on 4th June 2020.