Trust successful in achieving targets agrees Monitor
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is no longer in breach of its authorisation with Monitor, the independent regulator of Foundation Trusts.
Monitor has announced that it will therefore step back from involvement with the Trust after it achieved emergency department waiting time targets consistently for seven months.
The Trust, which runs Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General Hospitals, had been failing to consistently see, treat and admit or discharge 95% of patients in its Emergency Departments within four hours.
In April 2012, under the leadership of Nursing Director Mrs Maggie Arnold, the Trust launched its Emergency Care Programme to tackle the various factors affecting the four hour waiting time. This considered all aspects of a patients ‘journey’ from their arrival in ED, diagnostics and inpatient treatment right through to their discharge from hospital.
Since May 2012 and throughout this period of intensive action the four hour waiting times have been met, and the Trust is confident that sufficient changes have been made to continue meeting the target.
Chair, Professor Clair Chilvers, said: “I would like to thank all the staff involved for their determination to turn this situation round in order to make a positive difference to our patients. It is a great tribute to what our staff and our partner organisations can do when they all work together.
“Targets are an essential part of the way we work and help us to maintain and improve the quality of care we provide. Looking to the future we are committed to achieving them across all our services.
“We recognise that our Emergency Departments are very busy places and we will continue to look at how to deliver that very important service in the best possible way for the benefit of people in Gloucestershire. The work of the Emergency Care Programme will, therefore, continue for the foreseeable future.”
Actions undertaken by the Emergency Care Programme include:
- Building new consultation and treatment cubicles in the Emergency Departments at Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General Hospitals
- Recruiting more Emergency Nurse Practitioners in the Emergency Department
- Changing the way people are discharged from hospital including earlier and more frequent ward rounds – so that beds are available for emergency patients earlier in the day when they are needed
- Developing live online information to help patients to choose the best place for treatment, including Minor Injuries Units http://www.gloshospitals.nhs.uk/en/Wards-and-Departments/Departments/Accident-and-Emergency-Department/AE-Waits/
- Reducing unnecessarily long stays in hospital for patients who are ready to leave hospital
- Further development of Surgical Assessment Units to assist with patients who are referred to hospital by their GP, removing the need for some patients to be admitted to hospital at all
- Working with colleagues in the NHS community and social care to ease the transition from our large specialist hospitals to the community
There has never been a suggestion by Monitor that patients were receiving a poor quality of care.