16th March, 2000

For immediate release

Diary Note

Threatened Watchdog conducts last ever

Casualty Watch

Waiting times in hospital accident and emergency units will come under the spotlight during the UK’s last ever Nationwide Casualty Watch, organised by The Association of Community Health Councils for England and Wales (ACHCEW), on Monday 26th March.

Over 150 Community Health Councils (CHCs) in England and Wales and Health and Social Services Councils in Northern Ireland will visit their local A&E units to survey how long patients have been waiting at 4.30pm on Monday 26th March. They will record how many people are waiting for treatment, how long they have been waiting and whether they are in beds, on trolleys or in chairs.

The results will be embargoed until Thursday 29th March. Last year’s survey revealed waits of over 24 hours in some hospitals.

ACHCEW’s Director, Donna Covey said:

"This is a very effective way of getting a snapshot view of how services are operating so that we can highlight where things are working well and where serious questions need to be asked. It is also an excellent example of the important work that CHC members do in representing the interest of the public in their local health service."

"The tragedy is that if the government gets its way and CHCs are abolished this will be the UK’s last ever Nationwide Casualty Watch."


For further information please contact: Murray Benham on - 020 7609 8138

email: murray.benham@achcew.org.uk

website: www.achcew.org.uk

Notes to Editors