What UHP is doing to prepare for winter

We are still seeing high numbers of people coming to the Emergency Department. Often there are over 300 people who are seen and treated each day. The amount of people visiting the Emergency Department was higher than expected every month throughout 2023, and will continue into 2024.

As a result, we have been working hard to bring down waiting times for this large number of Emergency Department attendances.

Watch this short explainer video to learn more:

Working collaboratively

NHS Devon and health system partners across the region have been working together through the ‘Devon Care Coordination Hub’. This group of organisations work together to improve and streamline processes. The aim is to get patients well, and able to safely leave hospital as soon as possible.

More Consultants

By ensuring there are more Consultants in the Emergency Department, we are working to the ‘Acute Medicine Model’. This model means people can be referred and seen more quickly by Acute Medicine Consultants, and decision making about patients’ care is faster.

Speciality pathways

There are a number of projects looking at patients who need urgent care, but may not need to be admitted. One example of this is the ‘falls pathway’ which has launched successfully.

‘Nervecentre’ manages Major Trauma Centre, Urgent Emergency Care and 900 inpatient beds

Our operational and senior nursing teams meet several times throughout the day to ensure patients are in the right place at the right time.

Our beds, or ‘patient flow’ is managed by software called ‘Nervecentre’. This system gives a live picture of the hospital’s occupancy. There are weekly meetings to improve 4 hour performance targets in the Emergency Department.

Patient flow training

We have launched new Internal Professional Standards, and staff are trained on ‘patient flow’ principles. This means that everyone is focused on reducing delays and getting patients to the right place at the right time, and as quickly as possible.

Admission avoidance pathways

Staff and project teams are focused on specific patient groups such as those who are at the End of Life, or care of patients who have had falls, for example this project from Livewell Southwest

Virtual Wards

We have invested £1.5m in virtual wards which allow patients to remain at home if they wish to and communicate with their clinical team, who can remotely monitor observations like blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate.

Medical Same Day Emergency Care (Medical SDEC)

More people who attend as emergency cases can now be treated on the same day and return home, without being admitted to Hospital.

Phase 1 Urgent and Emergency Care facility

Plans are in place for four floors of emergency care facilities; one devoted to same day emergency care, a new paediatric emergency department, five new interventional theatres, four conventional theatres and all the support accommodation and imaging capacity that’s associated with our emergency care pathway.

New REI building opened off site

The new purpose built three floor REI (formerly known as the Royal Eye Infirmary) delivers enhanced ophthalmic care, bringing together outpatient and surgical eye treatments as well as an expanded service for children, away from the Derriford Hospital site, relieving additional space and bed capacity on the main site.  

Bringing down waiting lists

Three purpose built theatres and a new Orthopaedic wards will open in 2024 and reduce waiting listings for people who need surgery such as hip and knee replacements.

Admission direct from your GP

We work closely with GP practices to treat patients who are referred directly to urgent and emergency care by their doctor. If referred by a doctor, you will be seen for rapid assessment and diagnosis by a skilled team of specialists.

Hospital to Home

A ‘Hospital to Home’ multidisciplinary team with expertise in physiotherapy and occupational health, is dedicated to getting patients safely home. They offer therapeutic care and rehabilitation in patients’ homes; providing support with tasks patients find difficult for a short period. The service has so far proved successful in helping more patients to return home to rehabilitate and preventing readmission. Learn more

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