LiA is the perfect vehicle to involve frontline staff in generating solutions to solve ‘burning issues’ at a Trust. Holding 'themed' LiA conversations is great way to focus discussion and engage the right people to implement change in priority areas. At East Sussex Healthcare Trust, The Chief Executive Darren Grayson and Director of Finance Vanessa Harris hosted a ‘Using our resources effectively’ LiA Conversation recently.
Staff input showed that medication management for specific areas was an issue. Medication did not always follow patients when they moved wards resulting in increased costs, delays for patients and a negative impact on the quality and safety of patient care.
The Acute Pharmacy LiA team led by Amanda Isted, Pharmacy Operations Manager mobilised themselves to deal with this challenge. They focused on 8 clinical pilot areas with a crucial mix of staff – ward matrons, nursing staff and pharmacy technicians. Their aim was to ensure patient medication was transferred with every patient rather than having the pharmacy re-dispense it.
The team also decided that pharmacy staff, not nursing staff should be responsible for checking stock levels, releasing time to care on the wards.
Changes were implemented via regular staff dialogue, education of the pharmacy process at ward meetings and feedback from staff regarding the new processes. Within 6 months the results in the 8 pilot areas have been outstanding:
- Savings of more than £24k
- Transfer of excess stock from wards to other parts of the hospital
- Streamlining of stock requisition, reducing overspend
- Greater involvement of pharmacy staff on the wards, releasing ward staff to spend more time with patients.
Based on the success to date, this will now be adopted across the whole of the Trust within the next 6 months. The team have also identified further opportunities to reduce waste and improve the patient experience by working with Ambulance Crews to ensure medicines are brought into hospital with patients.