Schools are back open and many of us are suddenly reaching for our jumpers, jackets and even considering putting the heating on – what happened to summer?
The warmer months might have whistled by in a flash, but hopefully you managed to find at least some time to relax with friends and family to recharge. In the NHS ‘what happened to summer?’ is a question that has taken on greater meaning, with hospitals now experiencing pressure formerly seen only in winter all-year round – welcome to Narnia.
Despite that this time of year still feels like an opportunity to make a fresh start.
It is an exciting time for us at the Countess as our Co-ordination Centre Programme goes live and our new A&E plan rolls out including the opening of a new Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) and an acute geriatrician at the front door of A&E to help manage the safe, kind and effective delivery of care to patients.
All of this work is geared towards providing additional support for our staff so they can better help patients. We know how hard they work and we will do all we can to make it easier for them, especially over the busiest winter months ahead.
Earlier this month I attended the Health and Care Innovation Expo 2017 in Manchester to give a presentation about our work with the Co-ordination Centre Programme. It’s always great to attend such events, knowing how our excellent reputation precedes us and seeing how interested other people are in what we’re doing.
There was a palpable sense of excitement in the room as we discussed how it will help our staff, reducing the time they spend searching for equipment, and improve the patient journey from admission to discharge.
We’ve been talking about installing our Co-ordination Centre for so long now that it can feel like old news to us, but this is a timely reminder of how brave and forward-thinking we are as a Trust.
You might have also seen that the Health Secretary announced a new Fast Followers initiative at the Expo, with us listed as one of the 18 Trusts benefiting. This is another example of our continued push towards becoming a paperless hospital, giving us funding opportunities to look at updating other systems that we use, such as moving towards an electronic patient record that truly has the patient at its heart.
It’s very early days for that yet, but this is part of a digital revolution that will need to happen across the NHS over the next few years and we are in a good place to provide further improvements in patient care.