At the end of March 2020 an acute hospital in Kent was completing a major Emergency Pathway transformation programme. Upgrading the site management function had been the cornerstone of this effort.
The shock of Covid made the "traditional" pressures tackled by the transformation programme more intense and increased the complexity of the emergency pathway.
Building upon our traditional emergency pathway programme, we supported the Trust with their crisis response to Covid. A fundamental part of the response was an overview of the enhanced site management function under the Covid SOP:
Agreed cohorts of Covid patients, created a live map of where they were in the hospital, and developed the process / criteria to 'step' them down to non-Covid wards
Established Covid patient tracking and reporting, co-creating new processes to develop one version of the truth and facilitating the safe flow of patients
Fine tuned national Covid demand models with input from senior clinical leadership and local variables to better model the pressures on the trust
Optimised existing pathways and agreed new Covid pathways into 3 simple decision-making steps
Drove the operational "battle rhythm", supporting senior ops with critical operational decision making e.g. ward flip plan
Consolidated these Covid decision-making tools to create a "Covid Watchtower", providing a central source of information to support daily critical decision making.
Created 75 critical care beds within a week and maintained additional "spare" capacity
Reduced in-patient average length of stay more significantly than other local hospitals, with a 62% reduction in patients >21 days and almost all medically fit patients discharged within 1 week.
Reported lower levels of nosocomial infections than other hospitals in Kent
Achieved despite experiencing greater pressures (higher attendances and numbers of COVID patients) than other local hospitals.