At The West Norfolk System A&E Delivery Board discussions are regularly had about early and timely discharge.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn described post a January SAFER week that after asking patients the four key questions (below) many patients did not fully understand their plan and more than 50% did not know when they where going home.
Why am I here?
What needs to happen to me?
What am I waiting for?
When am I going home?
We have talked about several strategies over our meetings and at our February meeting discussed changing the language we use with patients as patients are received into our care.
The main aim we had was managing our patients expectations as they rely on us to care for and treat them and expect us to advise them when they can go home.
Pressure on hospitals is such we don’t always manage to describe in simple terms what the plan looks like for patients .
We agreed that if we told patients from the very start of their journey in simple terms that they where coming to our Hospital to be “assessed , stabilised and discharged” this may change the mindset of not only our patients but aid our teams in engaging in great and early conversations with our patients.
We have designed a simple admissions leaflet to support these early conversations between patients and our staff. The front part of our leaflet describes what asses stabilise and discharge in our Trust involves.
The back of the leaflet helps patients understand how they can help with their discharge by playing an active part such as asking us the four key questions as described in the SAFER bundle and also consider what they will need to have in place before they go home.
It is our aim as an AE delivery board to use this language across our system from the initial ambulance or GP assessment through to the Trust and onward to the community. By working as a system to include our patients in early discussions and setting expectations we hope to support a better patient experience and a better more timely discharge.
The leaflet designed by our communications team we believe supports this ethos. It’s design is also fun as the avatars are of some of our own staff! We hope that after a period of promoting these leaflets and we rerun our four questions audit that patients will describe what is happening to them and tell us the plan for them while in our care is “Assess, stabilise and discharge.”
For further information on this please do not hesitate to contact Ciara Moore – [email protected]