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'The perfect week' at Royal Liverpool University Hospitals

Thu 20th February, 2014
'The perfect week' at Royal Liverpool University Hospitals

There is exciting news at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust this week, where they are building on their LiA adoption to radically improve patient care and services through ‘real time’ staff engagement.

With the leadership of Divisional Medical Director and Consultant for Medicine, Simon Constable, their story is described here:

"Operation Fresh Start is an intensive programme, being run for eight days from 10th-18th February across our hospitals. During this time, the whole Trust is running the ‘perfect week’ to understand where the blocks are, and how we can improve what we do. It is being carried out under strict 'major incident' type escalation procedures, so we can monitor and learn as much as possible.

The drivers are simple. We are experiencing pressure and we want to ensure that we are managing that pressure in the best way possible for all of our patients. We have seen an increase in complex patients, who need a lot of looking after (such as the over-75s) and have found it more challenging to discharge patients to the right place. We also have an exciting opportunity to improve the way we do things, with the opening of the new Royal in 2017.

Operation Fresh Start is clinically-led by doctors, nurses and other frontline staff - a concerted effort by all staff to do things differently and identify where we can improve or what we need to do more of. Teams have come up with ‘five a day’ – five things they will do differently throughout the eight days.

This is to improve the experience of our patients, improve our patient flow, engage with staff and prepare for the opening of new Royal in 2017.

Here are some examples of what will be different:

  • There will be more senior doctors present in our Acute Medical Unit and Emergency Department 24/7
  • Ward rounds will focus on the sickest patients first, and then those who are close to being discharged. This means that patients who need admitting will get to the right ward faster, and those can be discharged wiill get home faster
  • Ward Liaison Officers will work with the wards to help resolve issues and challenge current practice, removing any blocks or delays in the system to ensure patients are treated in the most appropriate place and get home faster
  • The number of therapy staff (such as physiotherapists) working with the Emergency Department will be increased so that patients can go home faster
  • There will be more timely access to scans and tests, with longer opening hours
  • Phlebotomists will be on wards from 7.30am
  • We will be working even more closely with our community partners – including seven day social worker cover and external partners making decisions on referrals within two hours
  • Pharmacists will be working longer hours, seven days a week
  • Patients will be given a ‘welcome’ card so they know what their next treatment or test will be and when it will be done, the name of their consultant, and the nurse in charge of the ward.

Similar programmes have been successful in other hospitals, and we expect this to have a lasting effect on the care of our patients.

We will be running a debrief LiA Staff Conversation event on the 25th February to listen, learn and embed the learning and excellent practice staff want to see for the benefit of patients and themselves.

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