Patients, staff and visitors in University Hospital Ayr and University Hospital Crosshouse will spot a new poster campaign which highlights the benefits of patients being discharged from hospital before noon.
The ‘Home in the morning’ campaign encourages patients and relatives to discuss their estimated date of discharge with staff, and asks people to arrange for their relative or friend to be picked up on the morning of their discharge day, where possible. It features a poster designed by the Emergency Care Quality Improvement Programme (ECQIP) team with the input of the Hospital Patients’ Council.
Dr Crawford McGuffie, Associate Medical Director, explains: “At an early stage of a patient’s hospital stay we discuss and agree with them their estimated date of discharge. This means that everyone involved in their care – for example, doctors and nurses, pharmacists, health visitors and social services – can plan for all aspects of their discharge as efficiently as possible. And when our patients are ready to go home, we aim to discharge them before noon. Not only does this mean they are home and settled before evening, it also means that new patients who require admission avoid an unnecessary wait in the Accident and Emergency department.”
The ‘Home in the morning’ campaign is part of NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Emergency Care Quality Improvement Programme, which is leading a range of activities to improve the quality of care for patients who need unscheduled care either in hospital or in their own homes. Other projects include the establishment of assessment areas at both hospitals for the early assessment and treatment of patients referred to emergency medicine by their GP; and a new pathway for patients aged 65 and above who attend Accident and Emergency at either hospital. This follows a trial project which dramatically reduced the time older patients had to wait to be seen by a Consultant Geriatrician; identified safe, more appropriate options than admission for many of these patients; and even reduced the time other patients not included in the pilot had to wait in the emergency department.
Dr McGuffie adds: “These are just a few of the projects being led by our clinicians and managers which will make a real difference to the experience of patients who need care urgently. Whether they are being cared for in hospital or in their own community, we are working together to get them the right care, from the right people, at the right time.”