Emergency floor wins prestigious support
A multi-million pound project at Worthing Hospital is one of only four in the country to receive prestigious support from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and its Future Hospital Programme.
The £6.5M new Emergency Floor due to open soon will now evolve in partnership with the RCP – an organisation representing 29,000 physicians dedicated to improving patient care nationwide.
The 67-bed unit will cater for most adult patients referred for emergency treatment by GPs or direct from A&E, which is located immediately adjacent to the new department.
Dr Roger Duckitt, consult ant physician in acute medicine, said: “It is an enormous accolade to be selected as a development site by the Royal College of Physicians, and we are proud to be partnered with such a prestigious organisation.
“We believe it is testament to the forward-thinking and innovation of our Emergency Floor project which will help us to improve the care we provide to our patients, and adapt to the future needs of our changing and ageing population.”
The RCP’s Future Hospital report (September 2013) concluded care should come to patients, but it noted it is not unusual for patients – particularly older people – to move beds several times during a single hospital stay.
The Emergency Floor aims to address this concern by focusing care around the patient, who will receive treatment led by one consultant, from a multi-disciplinary team, in a single setting.
The department is designed so patients benefit from the expertise of medical doctors, surgeons and elderly care specialists working together who previously operated more independently in different departments.
The aim is to provide better safer care which through early intervention will help reduce hospital stays – most people should be discharged in less than 72 hours.
The Emergency Floor at Worthing Hospital brings to life the principle of bringing care to the patient
Indeed, a significant proportion will be admitted and treated without the need for an overnight stay in the Emergency Floor’s custom-designed ambulatory care area (ACA).
The ACA is designed to give patients the same access to investigation, treatment and specialists that in-patients receive, but enabling them to go home at the end of the day – something patients say they prefer.
When the Emergency Floor opens in November this year, urgent care for the elderly will become co-located with the hospital’s acute medical unit and surgical assessment centre.
It is this aspect of the patient-centred design that the RCP’s Future Hospital Commission are particularly interested in, and hope will have transformative effects upon patient experience and outcomes.
Dr Mark Temple, RCP Future Hospital officer, said: “The Emergency Floor at Worthing Hospital brings to life the principle of bringing care to the patient, as outlined in the RCP’s Future Hospital report published last year.
“By enabling medical specialists from different disciplines to work together in the same place, patients don’t have to be moved around the hospital, and will have truly joined-up care.
“Many will be able to have their diagnosis, tests and a treatment plan all in the same day. This will benefit all patients, but particularly frail older patients, who fare better if they are not admitted to hospital.
“We’re looking forward to working with Worthing Hospital on the project, and will disseminate the best practice lessons learned so that other hospitals can benefit.”
As one of the four initial projects selected by the RCP, Worthing Hospital will now benefit from specialist support from the College, which will provide access to quality improvement and evaluation expertise.
The lessons learned by the Future Hospital Programme team will be collated and shared to spread good practice and foster system-wide improvement in the care of medical patients nationwide.