Following an 18 month transformation programme, the Trust’s intermediate care services at Irvine Rehabilitation Unit (Bexhill) and Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital, have seen a reduction in the length of stay by an average of almost 10 days (figures for three months February to April 2018 compared to November 2018 to January 2019).
This has helped to enhance patient flow from our acute hospitals, support Emergency Departments in treating patients within the four hour target and reduce the number of acute stranded patients.
Comparing the two 3 month periods, the Irvine Rehabilitation Unit saw a reduction in average length of stay by almost 11 days, Rye, Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital by five days and Bexhill Stroke Unit by over 13 days. In May 2018 patients on the three units were staying an average of 38 days, by January 2019 this figure had dropped to an average of 23 days.
The reduction has been achieved by developing tools to better understand the population and improving the use of data to inform service design. The service has become more flexible to whole system demand and has broadened its capacity and capability in response to the changing population. This has been underpinned by significant changes in culture, profile and service design.
The team has also improved its information and support to patients and carers, developing resources that are discussed with the patient once they are identified for rehabilitation and ensuring that they are empowered to express their needs during rehabilitation and beyond.
Engagement with the whole workforce has been key to the improvements, and this has included “Cuppa, cake and collaborate” events which have provided an informal platform for ideas to be discussed and have been led by different groups of staff, including therapists, housekeepers and support staff.
Karen Poole, Consultant Therapist (Rehabilitation) said: “The significant reduction in length of stay is a fantastic achievement and has been achieved through collaboration across all groups of staff working in intermediate care.”