Back in January 2018, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) raised concerns about three areas:
- the number of delayed patients waiting over 24 hours to go to wards when ready to be discharged,
- the number of overnight discharges, and
- the high bed occupancy rates.
Delays in critical care can put patients at risk of harm – both for the patient held up in the wrong environment and preventing critically ill patients getting the level of care they need.
Through collaborative teamwork, changing the Standard Operating Procedure and adapting the SAFER care bundle on patient flow we have made some big improvements.
In six months, the number of patients delayed over 24 hours went down from 12 to 3 and the number of patients discharged overnight also went down from 12 to 3. Bed occupancy reduced from 113% to 100%.
The critical care team knows there is still more to do to sustain the improvement and to reduce further the number of people who are delayed in getting the specialist service they need or have their operation cancelled.