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Hospital staff team up to deliver 'perfect week' of care

26 June 2014

Health Care

Hospital staff are gearing up to try a new approach to tackling delays in the emergency department — by attempting to deliver a ‘perfect week’ of care.

Frontline clinical and behind the scenes staff at Southend University Hospital will come together in an ambitious seven day exercise between Monday 7 July and Sunday 13 July, dubbed 'The Perfect Week'.

Jacqueline Totterdell, chief executive at Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This valuable exercise is about colleagues from right across the Trust clearing their diaries and pulling together; from across all areas and helping the entire team sharpen our focus. Of course, no week is ever perfect, but we want to benchmark the best we can be and see how close to perfect we can get and what we need to do differently.

"Although we have met our emergency care targets for the past two months, this exercise is about ensuring we have all of the necessary things in place across the hospital  to sustain that performance and ensure that patients receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time, every time."

Although the proactive exercise is just for one week it is hoped that it will have a far-reaching positive impact on both the patient experience and that of the people who work at the hospital.

Jacqueline added: "It really is a massive undertaking but will act as a 'reboot' of sorts and is the perfect opportunity for us to see where we are getting patient flow right and where we could be doing it better."

The exercise is being run as a major incident with the executive team as 'gold command' meeting twice a day so that any significant issues raised can be dealt with there and then.

It will be all hands on deck, with staff asked to postpone non-essential meetings, consultants asked to cancel non-clinical work, and all colleagues encouraged to talk rather than email to communicate effectively.

During the week executives and senior clinicians will make daily visits to wards and departments. Non-clinical staff will also be playing their part as ward liaison officers, supporting ward staff in resolving time-consuming admin problems so that doctors, nurses and health care staff can focus fully on direct patient care.

Such schemes have already been used in other hospitals across the country such as Scarborough Hospital, Royal Liverpool University Hospitals and East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust, and is the brainchild of the national emergency care intensive support team who will be working with the team at Southend thorough the week.