60 minute turnaround of 'take home drugs' reduces discharge delays at Leicester Hospitals
Delays in discharge of patients, time to recruit new staff, endless bureaucracy, lack of equipment, and mountains of unnecessary paperwork. These are some of the main things that frustrate frontline staff in the NHS and get in the way of providing the best care for patients.
‘Blockers’ like this - which need to be addressed at a team and organisation-wide level - are identified during LiA Staff Conversations and quickly converted into actions.
What makes this 'different from usual' and hugely successful, is that contingents of staff are directly involved in developing these solutions, and in delivering them. In other words, the problem is not just handed back to the responsible team who - with respect - would presumably have fixed the problem by now if they knew how. The usual cycle of problem solving - do some listening, identify the issues, then hand it back and wait for something to happen - is broken.
It is essential to get ‘the right people’ into the same room to work on these challenges. This means engaging a mix of clinical and other staff from 'out there', along with 'subject matter experts' from the relevant support teams, other 'enablers' such as finance and estates, plus related teams and agencies. Connected around a common mission, and with the clear aim of achieving a 'step-change' within 20 weeks, they are able to come up with great ideas which they then take forward together. There is no 'project team' waiting in the wings to make it happen for them. This collaboration and sense of ownership helps to embed the LiA way of working and builds pride.
Teams at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust have been working together on 'Enabling Our People' schemes like these to achieve some great outcomes for staff and patients:
- Free Wi-Fi has been introduced for patients in the Children’s Hospital resulting in a better experience for children and their carers
- Staffing levels have been improved, with over 100 overseas nurses recruited for 2014
- TTO turnaround is now less than 60 minutes on all sites (50% within 30 minutes) which has greatly reduced discharge delays
- Recruitment processes have been streamlined so that 50% of new starters now only need one reference, resulting in a 50% reduction in time taken to obtain references
- Procurement of items has been made easier with the set-up of new contracts, resulting in a 9% decrease in communications to the procurement team
- The introduction of a 24/7 IT Help Desk means staff are now able to access help outside of normal operating hours, resulting in a 30% drop in complaints to IT
- There has been a 41% improvement in staff who feel equipment is cleaner, 46% improvement in the use of infusion pumps and 20% reduction in equipment being hoarded by wards/departments leading to better use of resources
- Day case paperwork has been massively reduced from 14 documents down to one
John Adler, Chief Executive prioritised these LiA 'Enabling Our People' schemes because he knew that the impact would be positive and widespread. The results speak for themselves and those listed here are just a few of the many that have been achieved at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust so far.