Report helps QA learn from last year's winter

A REVIEW of a hospital's winter performance will help them prepare better for this year

Friday, 20th July 2018, 8:49 pm
Updated Friday, 20th July 2018, 9:22 pm

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust held the investigation to learn where they could have improved last winter.

The health organisation, which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, faced an outbreak of flu, high occupancy rates of its beds and problems with staffing.

These issues saw it struggle to deal with its capacity with Christmas Day seeing every single hospital bed occupied.

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The trust is now hoping to use these findings to have better outcomes this year.

The report, presented at this month's trust board meeting, said: '˜It has been acknowledged by the trust that planning for winter 2017/18 started too late due to gaps and changes in the executive team and gaps in some of the key operational roles.

'˜Until September, very little, if any, winter planning had been undertaken.

'˜Between December 18 and January 1, emergency admissions were six per cent higher than the previous year. 

'˜There were also 223 more admissions than discharges over this two-week period and this resulted in much higher than anticipated bed occupancy going into the Christmas weekend.'

The report also mentioned areas where QA Hospital performed well including creating escalation spaces to deal with the increase in patients and senior staff having a better grip on situations as they unfolded.

Recommendations have now been made on how the hospital can better prepare for this winter. They include: 

Plans to create additional capacity in A&E to reduce ambulance handover delays and patients queuing in corridors. Extending the contract of the current [email protected] bridging care service to improve out-of-hospital capacity. Supporting the urgent care plan by resolving bottlenecks in how A&E flows and managing how GP-referred patients are treated.

The report added: '˜The improvements in flow and performance already seen this year give cause for optimism that the interventions taken over winter, along with the success of the Easter Sprint and commitment from partners are having an impact.'