‘Perfect week’ to boost A&E targets at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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‘Perfect week’ to boost A&E targets at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
HOSPITAL staff are set to try a new approach to tackling delays in the emergency department — by attempting to deliver a ‘perfect week’ of care.
Bosses said flooding the wards with senior doctors and social workers over a week-long period should ensure all patients are admitted, treated and discharged to the right place, at the right time.
The ambitious plan, which has been borrowed from a hospital in Bath, will aim to ‘break the cycle’ of delays and missed A&E targets at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.
In August, more than 1,300 patients were forced to wait more than the standard four hours to be admitted, transferred or discharged, compared to about 800 in July, despite a slight drop in attendances.
But Val Birtenshaw, director of operations at the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General, said the ‘perfect week’ would help nurses and junior doctors make the correct decisions about the pathways which patients follow.
This should free up staff and beds across the hospital and improve the flow through A&E.
She said: “It will help staff see how in some cases patients could be better cared for at home or in the community, and to identify and fastrack those cases.
“This will happen right across the wards and will give us the learning so we can improve things on a permanent basis.”
The delays in August were caused in part by a lack beds, unpredictable peaks in demand and reduced bank and agency staff during school holidays and Ramadan.
The changeover of junior doctors was also cited as a factor, as the new August intake needed time to find their feet.
Performance on the four-hour target, which should be met for 95 per cent of patients, dropped to 87 per cent in mid-August, bringing the overall year-to-date performance to 93.7 per cent.
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