Innovative project to reduce length of stay is highly commended at national awards

Patient and nurse

A project to reduce the time patients wait in hospital unnecessarily has been highly commended at the Health Service Journal Value in Healthcare Awards.

Last year the Trust identified that patients who were admitted to hospital were often waiting longer than necessary for certain treatments, such as diagnostic interventions, specialist and community reviews. These delays meant patients were staying in hospital longer than was necessary. 

Lee Martin, Chief Operating Officer, said: “Working with frontline teams we looked at the reasons why patients were waiting longer. Often this was because it was not clear what the delay was for the patient. We then identified the key areas where we could make changes to speed up the process and improve patient care and experience.” 

Initially working on paper systems, the team now use electronic whiteboards to identity any delays. These are monitored three times a day and staff are able to act on any delays quickly. 

Lee added: “We were able to monitor progress weekly and identify if we were improving, as well as where we needed to focus on getting better. As a result, we have reduced delays in key areas, with improvements seen in most support services, including inpatient waits for radiology, theatres, specialist advice, transport and discharge assessments. 

“We also now know the reasons why patients are waiting longer than they should, allowing us to respond quickly and ensure our patients do not experience unnecessary delays while in our care.”

The awards, which took place at Grosvenor House last night (24 May), celebrate initiatives that show outstanding efficiency and improvement by the NHS, highlighting projects which make excellent use of resources whilst improving services for patients.