The initiative called ‘Breaking the cycle’ brought together local hospital, ambulance and social care staff who trialled new ways of getting patients who need urgent care seen, treated and, if appropriate, discharged more efficiently.
David Smith, Chief Executive at OCCG and Chair of SRG, said: ‘ The extraordinary efforts of staff working in the hospitals, the community and social care left many inspired and excited by a real belief in our own ability to drive change. The week really showed what we can achieve if we pull together and focus on driving improvement.’
Much was learned from the week and some examples of this included improving access to porters and therapists as well as pooling knowledge on support available in the community. Health and social care partners are looking forward to using the analysis of the week to act as a spring board to achieve more than 95 per cent of patients seen in 4 hours every day in local A&E departments.
Other activities included putting more social care staff on hospital wards, GPs working with paramedics to undertake home visits earlier, carrying out extra patient transport journeys, carrying out scheduled operations earlier and cancelling non urgent meetings to help patients move through hospitals more efficiently.
‘Breaking the cycle’ is an national initiative and has been shown to bring about positive changes in other parts of the country, improving A&E performance, reducing ambulance waiting times as well as reducing delays in transfers of care.
The SRG comprises OCCG and health and social care partners including Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Oxfordshire County Council, the voluntary sector and Oxfordshire Local Medical Committee. They help to review the support required for the health and social care services to operate successfully throughout the year.