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Clinical Standards

The clinical standards for Emergency Departments (EDs) below have been produced by the Quality in Emergency Care Committee of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (CEM). The standards are developed by consensus from emergency physicians with relevant expertise and with input from other relevant stakeholders. The standards are regularly reviewed and provide the criteria for RCEM audits.


Current RCEM Clinical Standards



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A comprehensive review of existing standards was undertaken in 2011/12. The clinical standards are for the management of the following conditions in the ED:



  • Asthma
  • Cognitive Impairment in Older People
  • Dislocated Shoulder 
  • Feverish Children
  • Fitting Child  
  • Fractured Neck of Femur 
  • Head Injury in Adults (under review)
  • Hand Injury
  • Mental Health (follow link for more resources)
  • Pain 
  • Paracetamol Overdose
  • Spontaneous Pneumothorax in Adults
  • Radiology (uder review)
  • Recording of Adult Vital Signs in the Majors and Resuscitation Areas of the ED 
  • Renal Colic in Adults 
  • Retention of Urine in Adults
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock in Adults (Follow link for more resources about sepsis)
  • Sepsis and Meningitis in Children

Additional reference documents regarding clinical standards are available to download below:


New Standards

The following clinical standards are currently being developed:

  • Elderly Care - Expected publication date: May 2014