For the first time since we started counting (in 2014) we have no patients in the hospitals who have been here over 100 days thanks to an all-round superb effort on patient flow.
Patient flow is centred on three key areas: Patients being admitted through their GP or by A&E, their journey to diagnosis and treatment and then returning home.
At one point the Trust had more than 15 patients over 100 days and the team have been working hard to improve the experience for these patients by supporting them into a more appropriate environment for their needs.
Service Improvement Lead Colin Duffield, said:, “Generally speaking, the longer a patient is in hospital, the more difficult it is to discharge them and the patient finds it daunting. It’s not the right place for the patient or their family and can be expensive for the system. Rachel Rae and her team have worked very closely with patients, families and local authority colleagues to systematically review every case with a long length of stay”.
Discharge Co-ordinator, Julie Britain, told us: “Our team oversee the re-enablement of patients. Every day we look at how long patients have been at the Trust and assess what they need in order further their care, for them to leave the hospital environment.
"We are the go-between, so we liaise with departments, social services, families and any other external parties in order to find the best course of action to get patients back into the community.”
“We have two main bench marks a) over 50 days and b) over 100 days. If a patient is over these timeframes we question why and look for a solution.”
“As I mainly work on Ward 7 at CRH which is a Stroke care ward, patients here can stay for a large amount of time. It’s important to get patients into rehabilitation to ensure that they receive the right care at the right time. It’s important to not have patients linger in the hospital as there is a greater chance of infection and they are more likely to become institutionalised.
“By looking at the treatment patients need and the speed they receive it, it allows patients to become medically fitter and allows for other patients to be admitted and receive the same quality of care rather than having no beds for future patients.”
This is just a small but important part of our patient flow improvement work and whilst we will still have times when the hospital is very busy, as it has been this month, it shows that by working together we really can get results.