Background In Yeovil it was identified that there was increased demand and the lack of capacity in the community to care for the elderly, an increasing number of patients who were fit for discharge were still in hospital. The trust was seeing more patients overall and more patients with complex needs but there were not enough places to send them once they’ve been treated. There were large numbers of medically fit patients in every ward. When these patients were on an acute ward with the seriously ill, they inevitably received less attention from staff, delaying and compromising their rehabilitation and further preventing timely discharge. The hospital leadership was pressing for more timely discharges while nurses were highlighting their increasing workloads and the difficulty in ensuring all their patients were getting the right care.
This is a national issue and the issues described will resonate with many, and the solution, therefore is transferable.
The Solution All medically fit for discharge patients (MFFD) were cared for in a nurse-led environment so that resources could be focused on rehabilitation and on preparation for timely and appropriate discharge. A 30-bed ward was designated for the initiative and as many patients as possible relocated. A multidisciplinary team was assembled from throughout the hospital and a protocol developed to define who would be transferred and how they would be managed on their arrival. A transfer process was then established and a patient information leaflet explaining the ward’s focus produced.
Results This has yielded significant successes. ‘In the first three months the average length of stay fell from 14 to 11 days despite the winter pressure, and that has now fallen by another two days,’ Fewer patients need rehabilitation at community hospitals. In an evaluation in November, 98% of patients said they had been treated with respect and dignity.
The MFFD ward not only offers its patients intensive rehabilitation, but also a wide range of therapeutic activities. And the close working with other healthcare professionals has given opportunities to share skills.
Read further details here about Yeovil District Hospital NHS Trusts award winning service here http://bit.ly/1FTBt1X