Southern Health looks at flow of patients from hospital as part of board

The accident and emergency department at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham
The accident and emergency department at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham
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NEW projects have already been introduced as part of the A&E Delivery Board.

The board will look at reducing the number of people needlessly staying in hospital when they no longer need treatment.

We have expanded the work we are doing within the Discharge to Assess model which means that what patients need can be more accurately assessed when they leave hospital

Gethin Hughes

The issue – known as bed-blocking – can affect the emergency department and costs the NHS thousands of pounds a day.

Made up of organisations including clinical commissioning groups, South Central Ambulance Service and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, the board focuses on delivering services across the Portsmouth area. Its aim is to relieve the pressures facing urgent care at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

One of the organisations on the board is Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. Its role is to ensure patients can be discharged appropriately from hospital.

Gethin Hughes, director of integrated services at the trust, said: ‘The A&E Delivery Board is about all of us in the health economy working together to maintain the best possible flow of patients through the system.

‘For us this means working closely with our partners to ensure patients can be discharged when they no longer need the level of support provided by the acute hospital and their ongoing treatment can be safely delivered in a different environment.

‘We’ve expanded the work we are doing within the Discharge to Assess model, which means that what patients need can be more accurately assessed when they leave hospital and a 
comprehensive range of support set up for them in the community.

‘This will help maximise their independence and reduce the need for them to return to hospital.’

Southern Health, which looks at community health services, children’s services and mental health across Gosport, Fareham and Havant, has increased their staff numbers.

Its enhanced recovery and support team, which includes nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, has more staff and can give more patients treatment in their own home.