How to help ease the winter pressures on the NHS this year: 2022-23
Winter: increased respiratory infections, more hospital admissions, overcrowded waiting rooms and beds at over-capacity. Now, with the added pressure of seasonal flu on top of Covid-19 as well as a staffing shortage like the NHS has never seen before, this winter is going to be something else.
Other factors causing problems.
The NHS is facing a staffing problem like never before. Saffron Cordery, the Interim Chief Executive of NHS Providers, has stated that “without major action to the workforce shortages, the NHS could be thrown off course this winter.”
As well as this, increased patients, seasonal infections and a backlog of patients waiting to be discharged leaves risk for the spread of infection, a higher risk of incidents and adverse events and less capacity for incoming patients.
So, how can we work together to relieve the pressure on the NHS? And how can we take care of the tireless NHS staff in the process all whilst providing a high standard of patient care?
New measures from NHS England have been unveiled.
The NHS have rolled out a number of measures to help Trusts and other healthcare providers prepare for what has been called a “very challenging winter”. These measures include 24/7 command system control centres to keep track of hospital bed demand, capacity, waiting times and ambulance response times. Acute respiratory hubs will also be set up, where patients can get same-day assessments and triage for care at home to maximise hospital capacity.
The measures will also ensure that 999 and 111 have enough operators to handle the increased level of calls as well as make the discharge process more efficient to get more patients through the doors and treated. To decrease the amount of patients coming through the doors, prevention through flu and Covid vaccinations are critical. Reducing the number of unnecessary admissions will have a huge impact on the winter pressures.
However, nurses have expressed concern that these measures will put added pressures on staff without appropriate staffing levels in place.
How improved digital systems can help ease the winter pressures.
With the vast amount of challenges that need to be kept under control this winter, it’s important to consider how efficient and effective the management systems in place are.
From our discussions with healthcare providers across the country, we have found that Trusts are often battling a hodgepodge of paper reports, systems and assurance measures that are time consuming and often a hinderance to progress.
One way we can help support the NHS through a difficult winter is reduce the amount of time staff have to spend completing incident reports, clinical audits, hand hygiene audits, CQC self-assessments, compliance and more. A single integrated system would help speed up the process as well as make things easier and more efficient.
Oversight from InPhase was designed with speed, ease of use and efficiency in mind so users at all levels can complete their tasks and ensure a standard of quality across the board, with access to accurate up-to-date reports.
When there is a danger of infections spreading, it’s crucial that healthcare providers take the proper measures to ensure that infections are under control. Hand hygiene protocol and audits must take place to ensure a standard of quality across the Trust to reduce the spread of infection. Using Oversight to manage their audits, at the height of the pandemic, Wirral Community NHS Trust saw 95% of their staff complete their hand hygiene audits in the first quarter after implementation. The pandemic made it difficult to make time for this step, however, Oversight made it possible thanks to easy access for all staff across any device and a highly responsive user interface, they continue to provide the assurance that infection prevention measures are taking place.
Increased patients unfortunately increase the likelihood of incidents occurring. Staff must ensure that all incidents are logged as soon as possible and correctly for reporting and for learning and improvement, and to reduce the likelihood of the same incident occurring again. Incident Oversight from InPhase is both NHS England Learn from Patient Safety Events (LFPSE) certified and a quick, efficient way to log incidents, learn from them and make better informed plans to improve.
Users can rapidly and easily ensure a standard of quality across the board by triangulating audit and incident data against other key quality indicators for complete oversight of quality performance. With a simple click, users can drill down into the data by service, ward, team or individual and see what actions need to be undertaken to continue towards improvement.
Help ease the winter pressures.
There are a vast number of factors that will make this winter difficult for the NHS and other healthcare providers. However, there are certain things we can easily do to speed up processes and ease the pressure on staff. Oversight is the one, integrated solution that saves clinical and non-clinical time, reports data in real-time and provides robust and reliable assurance from team to ward to board. Turning arduous processes into simple, quick and easy ones as well as collating disparate data into one place, one system and one version of the truth to help alleviate pressure on staff and the NHS this coming winter.
For more information on how Oversight from InPhase can help ease winter pressures, schedule your time to talk to an InPhase expert today.Schedule time with us
InPhase’s Chief Executive and Founder, Robert has been the visionary leading InPhase to be one of the UK's leading providers of management, governance and assurance solutions, and helping organisations align their actions and goals more easily and efficiently with InPhase's suite of integrated apps.